Spoiler Alert

Feeling my age today, there is a chill deep down in the marrow of my bones, the temperature outside has plummeted, as I swallow back an acidity of fear pushing up from the core of my being. 

Cracking the flesh that confines my misgivings as if a walnut, I take the gnarled meat into my aging hand, and consider how it resembles a brain. 

The meat of fear is dense.

It does not matter if my basic fear is becoming invisible, invalid, irrelevant and yours is abandonment, loneliness, ostracism. Our disquiet connects us as if a magnet, my fear pulling on yours, yours pulling on mine until our toxicity becomes something new, a variant if you will, more virulent than its original form. 

Love does much the same.

My fears are not baseless, ageism is real, but that does not make them valid, just fleeting thoughts that disrupt my inner sense of stability as if vertigo. 

If you only knew the things I hold back, the frivolity I push down, the creativity I ignore, because I think my words might offend, irritate, or annoy the hell out of someone.

I fear judgment more than cultivating my inner truth. 

The problem is my words become as irrelevant as the news.  

It’s ridiculous that it takes an act of courage to wake up every morning and confront our current reality. No wonder I drink copious amounts of coffee. 

It’s as if we’re drowning in a polarized cesspool of hatred that not only damages our quality of life, our ability to feel joy, it’s a poverty of spirit, and sadly this is a reflection of our world. If it’s not the wealth gap, climate change, or the pandemic, it’s a conflict of power, privilege, and politics, which leads to an array of suffering, abuse, and addictions. 

We live in dark times. 

Screw the rashes, what I need is red wine, piquant cheese, and dark chocolate, in that order, and unlimited quantities, please.

We’re all struggling, looking for a source of comfort and joy in the midst of a stark winter, staring out our window of reality hoping for a personal advent to break through those musty curtains of indifference.

Long lay the world in sin and error pinning, I don’t know about you, but I need my holy night, so my soul can feel its worth. 

What a mess, my lack of faith is showing, or maybe our collective apathy is attacking our faith in each other, in our dignity as a creation. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness, and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns says, Anne Lamott. 

Maybe I need is a change of scenery? While I’m thinking luau’s, bikinis, Mai Tai’s, and stellar sunsets, Larry’s focus is the weather.

So we hit the road as a mild storm chases us up the Interstate, arriving at the lake just before the skies open up, and we are deluged by much-needed rain.

The good news is our sealants held, there is no river of water trailing down the main window, dripping from the vent in our room, or flooding the lanai. 

We quickly settle into our preferred spaces, me, swaddled in the double-wide, writing irrelevant words from my little corner of the world. Larry is on the sofa, opposite the television, excited to watch a taped version of the Formula 1 championship.

All-day he avoided the news as to not ruin the live experience. 

It’s interesting how we tend to eschew the outcome, the answer, the conclusion before we’ve had a personal encounter.

I look up from my computer as he cranks up the volume on the television, he’s off the couch in a single leap, making noises no grown man should make.

I’m like, “what the hell? Are you having appendicitis?”

Larry says, “It’s the final lap of the race!”

“Thank God, I thought I was going to have to perform CPR.”

I get the look.  

Suddenly he’s jumping in the air, fists flying, yelling, “Oh My God, Verstappen is trying to pass Hamilton. Look at this, look at this, he’s doing it, holy sh-t, $%!#&, come on.” 

His excitement is contagious and I rise from my berth to stand with him. 

A thrill of hope seizes our weary souls, as Larry declares, “He did it! He overcame Hamilton! Unbelievable!” 

You don’t have to be religious to enjoy competitions, rivalries, or sporting events. It’s communal, we’re drawn to it innately, and although it can be a source of conflict, we tend to celebrate enmity in our culture. 

It’s much the same with ritual, worship, and faith traditions, but it’s as if we’ve thrown out the baby with the bathwater, and now we’re left with an emptiness that is difficult to fill. 

We can enjoy Christmas without believing in the birth of Christ, many do, but remember it’s just materialism if you leave out the unwed mother, a woman who found herself unwelcome and alone, struggling to give birth to her first child, a child of God.

Life is a mystery, I don’t know the future, and I prefer to keep it an enigma, but this much I know to be true. 

Darkness is dangerously close to overtaking our world. No wonder we chose December, the winter solstice, to wait in joyful hope for the glorious light to redeem us. It’s a close race, the outcome is unknown, but we can stand together, cheering on the underdog from Bethlehem, until the bitter end.  

Spoiler alert. Love wins. 

I’m Living in the Gap, weary but rejoicing, how are you doing?


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  1. “Life is a mystery, I don’t know the future, and I prefer to keep it an enigma, but this much I know to be true … Darkness is dangerously close to overtaking our world . . . but we can stand together, cheering on the underdog from Bethlehem, until the bitter end.” – Amen Cheryl!

    Uncertainty is a certainty of life. In our chaotic, divided world it’s often best to gratefully remember the future only arrives one day at a time to deal with. The best news . . . Christians have read the last chapter and . . . We Win!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours lady!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Fred, thank you for your kind and thoughtful comment. I love your words, “remember the future only arrives one day at a time,” because that is doable! The Good News, love wins, Merry Christmas Fred, warmly, C


  2. You are far from alone in your ‘wrangling with life’. As I reluctantly face the prospect of my next birthday having a 7 as the first number, I can feel the shadow of human mortality dakening each day a little more. Someone told me “70 is the new 50”. I told them to come back and tell me that once they were 70.
    But as my mum always said, even when she was 85 years old, and on oxygen for COPD, “There’s always someone worse off”. I don’t want them to be worse off of course, but it helps to realise they are, and makes me feel grateful for the comforts I enjoy.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Pete for your heartfelt response! I too, “feel the shadow of human mortality,” as the years roll by, and one by one members of my beloved family pass away. It’s certainly a wake up call to squeeze every drop of joy out of life! And your right, gratitude is key, we are safe (relatively), warm, and loved. That’s a win. Hugs and love to you and Julie! 💕C

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I will! I think you must stop wrangling with life, there’s no point really, we’re all tiny tiny specs in the infinite, might as well enjoy the ride. Well,that’s what I tell myself anyway when I’m hating the wrinkles and strange aches. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is such a wise observation Diane, let love win today! We don’t know how much time we have and enjoying the present moment is really all there is, well that, and those annoying roommates! Hugs, C


  5. Hi Cheryl,
    Glad to hear you all got some more rain. Hopefully the lake is filling back up.
    Reading your description of how you felt on a cold dreary day, with the fear of the relentless inevitable decay, and the sensation of feeling older gave me pause. Are you feeling this because you are exposed to darkness and cold, accompanied by the cumulative loss and pain you have experienced the past few years? Is it the feeling you get with the passage of time as things don’t look as young, the joints don’t move as well, and the aches last longer into the day (I think I am transferring how I feel into my interpretation of your writing?) Or is it because internally you are reacting to the rash of negativity that seems to pervade our daily media exposure?
    As I read your blog, and I write my response, I realize that you are painting a bleak, dark picture. As if lights are dimming on the world, and we are all slipping into chaos. But then with a little Larry humor it becomes clear that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. All is not lost. You break through with:
    “Darkness is dangerously close to overtaking our world. No wonder we chose December, the winter solstice, to wait in joyful hope for the glorious light to redeem us. It’s a close race, the outcome is unknown, but we can stand together, cheering on the underdog from Bethlehem.
    Spoiler alert. Love wins.”

    Yes! You are correct. Hold on. Remember what Christmas is about, and always chose love.
    If the world is on a knife’s edge, and enough people care, love will find a way. From Valley Forge, to Gettysburg, to Stalingrad, it is always darkest before the dawn. There has got to be a morning after.

    Gene Hackman’s finest hour! And is that Grandpa Joe from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory there at the end?
    Love this blog entry. It is great to be reminded of the meaning of Christmas in these troubled times.
    PS Larry is the only Formula 1 fan that I know, I think (there may be some in the closet.) We watched a race last time we visited you. I could become a fan if I had more exposure.
    PPS. I need a vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mike, thanks for jumping into the cold and darkness with me! I really wasn’t trying to write a dark and desperate post but clearly my fears around aging, pandemics, and honesty just pushed their way onto the page and refused to be deleated! Larry added some much needed relief to the direction of my thoughts, thank God, and then it dawned on me. If we all knew who was going to win we could align ourselves with goodness, love, kindness now because that’s who’s taking the trophy home. And as you say “our world is teetering on a knife’s edge,” and I believe we can tip the scales if we chose to. And in response to “I need a vacation,” you might like a winter experience of California? In February Larry and I are signed up for a biking even in Palm Springs! You know how to ride a bike. Right? Hugs to you and Gail, Cheryl


      1. It’s helpful and hopeful just to say it: “Love wins.” Another good one from my shero Maya Angelou: “Love liberates.” I woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday and responded to your post pre-coffee. Perceptions change minute by minute. Sometimes a person just needs to wait one more minute.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh Crystal, it’s my sacred motto, #nothingbeforecoffee! I wholeheartedly agree, I would give anything for one more minute with my Mom and Dad, my dog, my youth! As Maya knows “love liberates,” it’s so true. Blessings on the wonder of the season my friend, xxoo, C

          Liked by 1 person

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