In the past 5 days, four of my neighbors have made trips to the hospital. Last Friday, which was above freezing, Ellen was walking into her garage when the snow on the roof let loose and avalanched down on her. Her hip broke. Luckily her husband had not yet left, though he was in the house. She screamed. He took her to the hospital, and she got a brand new hip later that day.
My sweetie played a beautiful piano concert Saturday afternoon.The audience applauded. Then, an hour later, it was all over. Ten months of practice, several months of planning for the November concert and for this January concert, the applause–it’s all over.
Sweetie kept reviewing the pieces in his mind, replaying them for himself. This is a form of stress. He kept reviewing the critical comments that a couple of friends made. “The piano was too loud.” This is a form of stress. He wondered why certain friends hadn’t come. This is a form of stress. He congratulated himself on having played a masterful concert. This too is a form of stress, because even though it’s a pleasant memory, that pleasantness comes to an end after a few seconds, and the ending of pleasantness is unpleasant.
My sweetie gave a piano concert yesterday afternoon in our small town. Forty of his friends and acquaintances came to enjoy the short, easily accessible classical music pieces by Debussy, Ravel, and Moussorgsky. He gave a short introduction to each piece, telling the audience what to listen for. They applauded each song with longer applause at the end.
My favorite Christmas card this year says
Wishing you MORE WAG and LESS BARK this holiday.
Hope your holiday is filled with UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
This is good advice for every single day of the year, whether or not it is a holy-day. In fact, practicing this well wishing–for ourselves and for others–turns every day, every meeting with an acquaintance, every encounter with a difficult person into a holy day, a sacred space of connecting with another person.
Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning a changed man. This change of heart, change of mind is the result of deep insight. Not just intellectual insight that says, “Oh yeah. Unh-huh. I understand.” but the deep embodied insight that can turn our life around on a dime.
The Ghost of Christmas Future shows Scrooge his own tombstone. Seeing how ill-remembered he is, Scrooge has a conversion experience.