Monday, December 11, 2006
On Becoming Real
Here are some of my gals right before we all toured the Garvan Woodland Gardens Christmas Lights. It was lovely. Cold and Christmasy and lovely. We were late and missed the hot chocolate and marshmallows but still it was lovely.
I look at this picture and I hope that someday we will take a picture like this when we are pink and grey haired old ladies. When we have to hang onto each other's arms to walk the trails.
My grandmother still has friends like this. She has 2 in particular whom she has been friends with since she was my age. They raised their children together, fought for their marriages together, cared for their grandchildren together, and now compare pictures of their great-grandchildren together. They have stuck together for a lifetime and that is no easy task.
It is a wonderful thought that we will all be together through thick and thin. Especially when it seems like there is more thin than thick.
I think part of Christmas is being open and honest about what you are grateful for in your life even though so much of it is broken. Over the past few years I have come to believe that Christmas is as much about the hurt and the sadness in our lives as it is about the hope and the joy. And I don't think that is a bad or depressing thing. If you didn't know sorrow how would you know joy? It's about becoming real and looking at the whole picture and not just at what we want.
I think the Skin Horse from the Velveteen Rabbit says it best.
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse.
"It's a thing that happens to you.When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you can become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit?
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once. like being wound up?" he asked, "Or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easy, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."