It is January…dark, quiet, and calm. For many of us, January can be symbiosis, a living together, or companion with depression. The splashy seductions of Christmas are gone, along with the parties, the lights, and the presents. The nativity story, that pulls us willingly into its potent fairytale, has been stored in the attic. The once full house seems empty and austere. It is bone-chilling cold. The clouds create a barrier to the sun but the rain provides us with a much needed baptism. I feel displaced, lost, and alone but I force myself to savor this moment. I go deep within, as if a scuba diver, exploring the unknown regions of my selfish heart. In solitude, I swim in this dark cold space, it either restores my soul, or I drown.
I think January needs a more fitting name like Returnary, Restorary, or Reclaimary. This is what I do in January. I return frivolous gifts, I restore the house from resplendent to plain, and reclaim my harried space. I am the throw away queen in January, there will be regrets, maybe even tears, but for now I am ruthless. Emotions be damned. If I do not currently fit in those jeans, need those papers, use that frying pan, like some trinket, enjoy drinking from this cup, that item is recycled, disposed of, or sent off to the Goodwill. Stay out of my way because I have to act quickly in January, or I could end up featured on that horrible program Hoarders, where they make us appear so peculiar. This is a temporary insanity, and like Cinderella, I return to my preservationist roots at the stroke of midnight.
Today I’m as organized as the illegal software trade, and I sit in hopeful expectation, for the law to find me. It is my decadent but unparalleled longing for change. I do not know how to stop or curtail the violence in our world, so I distract myself with frivolous perversions. St. Augustine claims, “All great evil is a perversion of good.” If I can not negotiate peace within my own family how can I expect more from our warring nations? I am overwhelmed with despair for all the suffering in the world, so I insulate myself with the familiar, and play hide n’ seek with the truth. I turn off the news, take a sabbatical from social media, and sit quietly with this incessant longing.
When I can no longer breathe, I kick my way to the surface, “I see skies of blue, and clouds of white, the bright blessed day, the dark sacred night, and I think to myself,” this could be a wonderful world. Then I hear the echo of a baby’s cry from two thousand years ago, when the spirit of love entered our world, and a shinning star became our beacon of hope. Louis Armstrong sings, “I hear baby’s cry, I watch them grow, they’ll learn much more, then I’ll ever know,” and I realize I already have a decadent and unparalleled reason for envisioning tomorrow with glorious hope. Her name is Audrey.
What gives you hope? Please shed some light on the subject.