Mid-Winter & Festivals of Light are in many traditions a time for gift-giving. Nowadays the idea of Gift is so commercialized & fraught with emotional baggage of one kind or another that it is easy to lose track of the deeper nature of Gift as a sacred movement of energy between people. I have been thinking a lot about the nature of gifts. Each day is a gift. Each breath of air is a gift. As Lewis Hyde says in his excellent book The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, “I think a gift…is a mystery.”
Certainly all of you have been a real gift to me during the months since Spring Equinox. Thank you. I tried to think of what I could give in return, but as Fra Giovanni has said so eloquently:
“I have nothing I can give you which you have not, but there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take Heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take Peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow, behind it, yet within reach is joy. Take Joy! There is a radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see, and to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look! Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly, or heavy, or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor woven of love, by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it! …. And so at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”
And then, too, Neil Gaiman’s blessing for a New Year:
"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful. And don't forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."
Sending you love & all best wishes for a year where your curiosity burns bright and you make discoveries that fill you with awe & joy – – –