on nightmares, congress, and the third week of advent


I woke up at 3:30 the other morning because I had a nightmare that involved guns.  It was pretty detailed, and to be honest my imagination had laid it out to me like a perfectly suspenseful short story.  But I told the muse to go bother someone else.  I generally try to write things I want to read, and I wouldn’t want to read that.

So instead I wrote to my congressional representatives.

The older I get, Advent becomes both harder and easier for me.

It’s easier because of the candles of hope and peace.  We need them so badly.

It’s harder because of the candles of love and joy.  It’s so hard to feel them sometimes.

I read on Kathy Escobar’s blog the other day that Advent and Christmas are a magnifier for emotions.  I think that is so true.  Our grief seems harder because of the joy of the season.

But our joy is also stronger because of the magic.

This week has been the third week of Advent.  The candle of joy.

As I write this I’m sitting in our guest room watching the sunrise come up over the mountains in the backyard.

Is that not joyful?  New light coming through?

In just a bit, Evelyn will wake up.  I’ll go into her room and she’ll smile and laugh.

Is that not pure joy?

There seems to be so much to be anxious about.  I feel it every day.  I’m not sure if it’s normal, or if I really do carry more anxiety than most people.  Gerrit says it is probably the latter and I’ve just learned to live with it really well.  This is probably true.

The joy candle is the hardest for me during Advent because the season sometimes magnifies my anxieties.

But maybe it is in fact the one that I need the most.  Because I think there are not many better ways to combat your anxieties about the world than to find the never-ending joy that also resides here.

It can be hard to find, but I believe it’s here.


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