Monday, December 25, 2006

on Christmas day

Erma Bombeck once wrote a piece about Christmas, about looking back with fondness on the homemade gifts of cotton balls and toothpicks with glue.

This year I received a felt stuffed angel with only slightly tilted wings, one that I had spent much of my own time "helping" to sew (along with other family homemade presents). She is beautiful. I also received a homemade heart with the words "I Love You" sew into it, a set of my OWN sharpie markers (gasp!), and a new note book to write it, (I've filled another). The last two items were purchased with money saved and budgeted between three other family members, money clutched in Christmas lines carrying small baskets of gifts while I was to stand "away". The gifts then hidden in rooms and carefully wrapped in secret and carried down and placed under our tree.

They are more precious to me than anything else I could ever receive.

Below are my "homemade" gifts to my children, they seemed to like them, although right now they are watching Monty Python's Flying Circus (what WAS I thinking!) and have completely forgotten them.... :-)

a letter about Catherine

Catherine, sometimes
seems to be more spirit than she is flesh,
or, perhaps
she has more felicity than
the instrument that is her body
will contain.
for it may appear
she is akin to sunshine,
refusing to be restrained,
streaming out and through
all afforded spaces
brilliantly expanding
reflecting over
everything within her grasp.

resonating from just under
her brave skin is
joy, exuberance, dance and laughter
together, and all at once.

she swallows the earth
in a fierce embrace, and
steps boldly out into its
and, its brightness
arms open
mouth spilling laughter
to mingle and weave
within the world’s voice.

she is liquid speed and
profound stillness
side by side.
kaleidoscopically dancing
to music she composes
with handfuls of willow leaves and
brightly woven yarn
tossed into the air.

I hear her between the
soft rasping of a page turned,
and the persistent rasp of
pencils across paper.

she is my teacher,
my guide,
my joy,
my daughter.


a letter about Graham

he cannot step lightly.

Graham’s heartbeats and footsteps thunder.
the world, left without choice, expands
in the presence of absolute life,
resting, only when he does.

his eyes regard you with utter openness,
his soul, laid bare upon his pale and bandaged skin.
is free to look upon,
to touch, to embrace, and sometimes, even kiss;
if you can bare its raw beauty.
for he has not yet learned how to guard it,
to shield it from this worlds blows, or joys.

his sorrows wrap themselves around the moon
and the oceans feel their pull.

in ecstasy, he his flings brightness to the stars,
and they twinkle back their gratitude;
on earth branches arch from leaves’ laughter
a mere home may not contain such elation.

his heart, he sometimes carries
cupped, in his still small hands;
these are the times I glimpse the man,
he will become.


a letter about Elizabeth

she carries
my heart, in a bucket of sand, she
uses to make sandcastles,
collects water from the ocean
with seashells for its walls.
she regards me with eyes
older, more profound than
her oceans;
questions the universe,
in the voice of a child,
tapes letters to God
to her window.

Elizabeth walks barefoot, climbs
trees on an earth
she has tread long before;
senses its pulse, breathes its skies,
and later, paints them in

she dances, (barefoot) and giggles,
with raindrops and snowflakes,
cradles earthworms and spiders
as precious treasures, before
returning them home;
and helps me bury small birds
in our yard.

she carries my heart
in a fierce little body,
born with more wisdom,
more compassion,
more love,
than I may comprehend.


and so there they are. presently engrossed in the Flying Circus, and I must have more coffee. no snappy graphics with this one, its Christmas and I shouldn't be near this box anyway.

Happy Christmas all.


Anonymous said...

I still have a 31 year old bar of soap partially carved, with a ribbon around it, and a note: "Dad. It was going to be a Dog. I ran out of time. Love, Dave."

Yes, we actually had soap back then.:P

Were you to become a billionaire, you still could not purchase gifts of such value, than those you received.

Callooh said...

I remember carving soap!

Once when during a Christmas visit to my dad's I found the "drawer" where he kept all the assorted things I had made him out of toilet paper tubes, and popsicle sticks, and so on...I was astonished first, and then I just felt wonderful.

yes, they are treasures, and I will keep them...