Saturday, December 25, 2021

Wishing you Joy, Peace, Love and a Chocolate Chip Cookie

 It's a sad holiday season for me.  And yet, I know Papa Callan would have wanted me to find laughter, even in the midst of the tears.

When I look at this photo of my Dad from a few years ago, I can't help but laugh.  We were doing some Christmas shopping.  I think we were looking for art supplies for my daughter.  Mostly I remember following my dad around the store.  He found everything so very, very interesting.  And funny.  And fun.  He picked up this little sign and I photographed him, but truthfully, there were lots of signs and photos that day.  This is because he moved through the world as a tourist, finding the most insignificant thing completely fascinating--the way you feel when you're in a foreign country and you walk into, say, the post office and you notice all the little differences.  And then you walk out feeling newly alive to the world.  You begin to notice everything.  You find joy in every little thing.

In fact, I remember how in the 1970's, (much to my annoyance--I was a bit of a hippie, after all) he famously quoted John Denver saying "sunshine makes me high!" 

But, this was true for him.  Papa Callan found simple pleasures like eating a chocolate chip cookie great fun (if a little naughty).  He extolled the pleasures of a good sneeze.  In fact, after he sneezed, he would say, "that felt good!"

Now, I realize that this was absolutely the truth for Papa Callan.  Sunshine made him high.  Cookies were naughty, but nice and a good sneeze was earth-shatteringly wonderful.

I know that Papa Callan would not want me to stay sad.  I know that he'd want me to be happy and enjoy this time and all the gifts this world has to offer.  He'd want me to be a little bit naughty too.  Because naughty is the new nice.

Here's my creative assignment for you, dear friends--find something that is really quite ordinary.  If it's small, make it big.  If it's big, make it small.  Look at this pleasurable thing from a different angle.  Place yourself in the past or the future.  

Look at this pleasure from the viewpoint of a someone from a foreign country.  Open your eyes and make art.  Write your poem or your song or story.  Paint the image.  Dance in celebration of this ordinary thing that brings you so much happiness. 

And as Papa Callan always said, have fun! 

Happy Holidays!  


P.S.  Thank you for your messages and cards of condolence.  I am so grateful and honestly, a little overwhelmed by the outpouring of love.  I will write back to all of you--promise!

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