One morning, almost a decade ago, I was struck by the inspiration that comes only from staying awake for all of the previous night. I sat down at the computer and began a fervent outpouring of guts and aspirations for hours on end, knocking off several chapters of what came to be the beginnings of my short story: "Around". I've added bits and pieces to it over the years, but it was shelved and went on to collect far too much dust. That is, until I attended a graduation party for my cousin's son. I sat down... wrote out a brief synopsis for a novel that would include my short story as a section.
Fast forward to current day... the character building is finished, and many chapters written. The book will be in mostly arbitrary segments. Characters come together much in the much akin to the movie "Magnolia" or more so like Stephen King's "The Stand". These characters work earnestly to achieve a healing, both personally and collectively. They gather a deepening awareness, imbued with a sense of hope from what they accomplish, despite the imposing complexity of life.
Only the intellectually engaging (slightly daunting) process of writing and fleshing out the story remains. As of late, I spend most of my time with monologues that would make for pivotal moments in the story. I like to think of these as "Aha... moments": tying together prolific reflection and rich character growth. Live broadcasts and other content from an instagram group named Kiingo, help me stay inventive with new composition tools and techniques. They've been invaluable for approaching what, without a better diversified perspective, could be tedious and uninspired. Advice, ideas, and opinions on the subject are welcome and encouraged.
Today, a true friend from days of old, shared some insight on her Christmas heritage. Hearing someone with cherished traditions say "however you celebrate is wonderful", in the current state of this world, is both fantastic and comforting.
Like her, my family keeps the tradition of an Advent calendar. We may not attend Catholic Mass or agree with all Catholic dogma, but we have a ceramic nativity that came over from Italy with my Great Nana when she was a little girl. There are many special ornaments that have been passed down, and others that will probably become heirlooms as well.
There have been some clashes between my partner and I over how to keep Christmas. He is an atheist, and questioning what is real and what is important over time... that is one truth in our kinship. He feels the stress of getting gifts heavily, but he has some of the best ideas for them too: practical, creative, and personal. There is a sparkle in his eyes when he receives a special gift, and as time passes he grows closer to family. So as that evolves I count us blessed to find compassion and understanding among us.
That is what Christmas is about, right ? Connecting with people. "Resetting our internal clocks and hearts", as my old college cohort reminded me. Restoring and strengthening some heartfelt kindness and good will.
And with that I wish the best for you and yours, always. It will never be too late to make positive change in yourself and others. Let your light shine brilliantly. And thank you for sharing it with all of us.