We've been celebrating Chanukah here, which for me (Amy) is a new tradition. Maya has been sharing some of her traditions with us, and she read the Chanukah story to the boys and I the first night as we lit the candles on our Lego menorah. She explained that this holiday isn't religious, but a celebration of the triumph of light over darkness. The candles are lit each day to represent the miracle of a one-day supply of oil that burned for 8 days.
There is a lot of darkness in this world, as evidenced by the news from around the world lately. It's dark and depressing and often it makes me cry. Sometimes I sit and wonder if we'll ever figure it out. If humans will ever understand each other and be able to live together without violence and destruction and so much hatred. There are many reasons to hate. I personally have a myriad of my reasons that I could be bitter and angry and hate-filled, and I admit, some days I do choose anger and isolating myself and lashing out at the ones I love instead of light.
As I sit here writing this, I realize that I've chosen my word of the year for 2015.
I choose light.
I choose compassion for myself.
I choose forgiveness.
I choose to stop asking why but ask how. How can I make a difference?
I choose to be open.
I choose to be kind.
I choose to wield patience instead of anger.
I choose to brandish a pen instead of a sword.
I choose to make sense of the world through writing more poetry and stories and making all kinds of art. Through my words and bits of paint and fabric and scraps of cardboard and photographs and Sharpies and watercolor and tiny books and wax and ink, I know I can bring light, too.
I choose light.
Join us in January for a new session of Choose Your Next Adventure - a 4-week, twice-weekly online course filled with creative writing prompts and creative challenges. We'll invite you to practice taking leaps, to develop or change a routine, pursue a new passion, or shift a behavior or attitude to make a change in your life. Also, January 13 and January 14 we'll begin a new 4-week session of Writing the Collective - a creative writing class you can take in the comfort of your own home. We'll give you simple prompts to jumpstart your writing practice and offer time to share your words with others to boost your self-confidence in a safe, productive space. Stay tuned for more news from our studio and details about our writing and cycling retreat in Vermont this June, as well.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all of you. May 2015 bring each of you more light.