“Just a coating to an inch” they said…

Homemade cookies on a holiday platter. Sparkling wine glasses and lint-free furniture. Manicotti and meatballs baking in the oven…

Fresh snow.   ‘         ‘       ‘     ‘   ‘ ‘   ‘    ‘ ‘ ‘   ”’ ”’ ” ” ””””’  ””””””””””””’   ”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

reunion party cancelled
Prosecco and meatballs
to toast the new year

©  ag ~ 2017

Hot Hot Hot

Across from where I sit at my computer in my farmhouse dining room, is a large framed print of three elder and matronly West Indian women chopping and cooking. Their shoulders are hunched up, and their breasts sag under cotton dresses and white aprons. They wear wide-brimmed hats or yarn watchman caps that fit in with their unfussy work. These women know their stuff and are cooking for a crowd at the local fish fry most likely on a Friday night, probably tonight as I write this. The food is spicy, the steel band is rhythmic and the cool Caribbean water is in the background.

It is 11 degrees and dropping outside with a windchill below zero. I’ve had this print for about 30 to 35 years now, and all during the long winter months — it never fails to bring a warm smile to my face.

on their ample hips
dem women wear the cadence
and color of the sea

© ag ~ 2017

 

 

 

And We’re Off…

Once again, as has been my practice for about five years now, I make the choice to take the time to reflect, write and focus my attention on one thing during each day in January that I might normally whizz by and lose sight of. In this spectacularly busy world, we regularly make and ignore small choices that do impact all the rest. This practice is called mindful writing and asks that we pay attention and bring presence (by writing here) to all these seemingly insignificant decisions that in realty shape who we are. This is not just about being serious in a somber way (I couldn’t do that if I tried). It is about staying present enough to look beyond our own foibles in order to appreciate the humor and grace that we can normally and easily ignore.

My official practice begins on January 1st every year, however as I age, I need to do more stretching and warming up physically and mentally. Hence this long introduction and a reblog of my last post from January 2016 to start things off:

 

Writing My Way Home  – A Kyirelle

As a mindful writing practice,
I blog daily on that and this.
It is called sharing a small stone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

January lobs with a cold moon,
And winter scenes of snow monsoons.
My muse inspires an artful tone,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Tales of grit, grace and gratitude,
Shape its forum and latitude.
With tears of laughter, grief and groans,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

Presence is my daily prayer.
Growth is awareness being here.
To this end I write my way home,
A spoonful of prose and a poem.

c   Andrea Grillo ~ 2016

“Yes, Virginia (and Andrea) – there is a Santa Claus!”

These words, minus the added parenthesis — (and Andrea) — appeared on the editorial page of the now-defunct New York Sun in 1897. Written by Frank P. Church to Virginia O’Hanlon in response to her question “…please tell the truth, is there a Santa Clause?”

His wise response included the above “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” and the following: “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias (and no Andreas, Graces, Donnas and Toms etc.) There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.” We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.”

So thankfully, with these remembered words, I am inspired to believe in the magic of Santa Claus or Papa Noel knowing that there is kindness, generosity, beauty, joy and a frivolity in our human clan. There must also be the same spirit and light in our greater “hood” – the milky way and beyond its star dusting. Actually, there are no borders in expressing and sharing joy, love, and peace. And there is also space for grief, anger and sadness. It’s all on the creative spectrum. Just for now though, during this feminine and holy Solstice season, I welcome childhood’s version of Santa’s magic (grace) into my life and believe in it for all life.

Peace.