Happy New Year!

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. For us churchy types, that makes it New Year's Day. I actually bought some little miniature bottles of bubbly and had one with supper yesterday ;-) I also bought my Christmas tree and set it in its stand, though so far it is decorated with nothing but a great big angel on top. I mixed some of the cut branches with some holly from my yard on a little table with the Advent candles, purple and pink. And I've started listening to Handel's Messiah, King's College Choir, and the Nutcracker Suite. The house is fragrant with fir, woodsmoke, and hot spiced cider.

I haven't posted here for a while. I've tried.... Two things: brain fog, which turned out to have a physical cause and seems to be solved, yay! And two, my tendency to think about everything, all at once, so a simple blog post starts to turn into a whole encyclopedia. In my last attempt I was trying to write about all the feasts this past week rolled into one great theme: the Presentation of Mary last Saturday, then Christ the King, then Thanksgiving, and now Advent. It didn't work. I got bogged down right on the first of those, in my evolving understanding of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her role in the Incarnation, which is a huge, huge topic all by itself.

So this is my resolution: to work at my writing! To work at constraining, mostly, constraining my writing topics into chunks that are big enough to be worthwhile but small enough to digest. Small enough to actually have a beginning, a middle, and an end. If the most interesting thing is how a bunch of disparate topics are connected in my thinking, then I need to present the disparate topics first, one or two at a time, and draw the connections after or as I go. I will post weekly, at least during Advent. Then I'll reassess.

Writing has the potential to deepen my contemplation and reflection on the Divine, on God's presence and action in my life. But when my thoughts start to spread out like my beloved wetlands, in every direction at once, it may be enriching but it can also become frustrating and confusing. This exercise in constraint should be a kind of ascesis, the kind of discipline that fosters growth. And I hope that I will be able to write and post something that will give readers food for thought, also.

So happy new year, my friends, and God's peace be with you.