Saturday, December 26, 2009

What was your best Christmas gift this year?

_Our family Christmas celebration will take place today, so most of mine aren't received yet, but I already know one of my best is a simple painting of a tea cup with a rose pattern, setting on a matching saucer-- the pattern extends, beautifully-- on a table, a spoon beside. I'm not sure of her original medium, but I received a print, on a card. It was done and sent to me by a friend in Indiana who I didn't even know did artistic painting. She sent with it a lovely, homey paragraph of the story of how the painting came to be. She said she sent it because I had sent my writing.
_This year has been a quiet one. The exciting events have been mainly tied to my grown sons, and those are mostly their stories to tell. So my Christmas letter included some observations from the natural world around me, and my deep, inner thoughts, and the questions triggered in me from those observations and thoughts.
_One friend asked, "Aren't you afraid to share so much of yourself? "Yes, it did feel a little risky, but I only sent to my Christmas card list, and not all of those. Some responded with "I enjoyed" comments. Many send a card that is simply signed, and no more, essentially no response. But one geographically distant friend responded in kind with a gift from her own deepest self.
_My heart broke open a little wider than it's been. That's one of my best gifts this Christmas.
_Do you understand? Tell your story, what was your best gift?

~by Carol Bindel

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas 2009

I wish you and your loved
ones a wonderful Christmas celebration
and pray that the Lord will provide you
with much peace and happiness this holiday season.
Warmly, Patricia

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Friend

Carol has been my friend for many years. Those of you who know her are aware of her loyalty and giving heart, you also know of her many talents ... including quilting and of course writing. She is a true friend, always there when I need someone to listen to my list of sorrows, my tales of woe. She listens and gently offers words of wisdom, a new perspective, a kind suggestion or two and always with love. She is a much better friend to me than I'll ever be to her. She is the sister I never had, the friend I do not deserve, and one of the most talented writers I know. It is my privilege to share her with you.


~By Carol Bindel

In her November 12 post, "Inspiration and Perspiration, A Study In Balance," Kathleen Harms speaks of fear.

Oh, yes. Fear of all kinds holds us back. One of the fears I recognize in myself (and there are many) is the fear of exposing too much of myself to the "wrong" people, ones who may take advantage, do me injury.This fear has encouraged me to hold my words close within a small circle of known friends and family.

But it is Christmas, the time of giving. A gift requires one to give and one to receive. I would give you this poem, a small gift. Do you wish to receive?


__following Papa and Mama
__who always reached for agape love,
__and wouldn't they be astonished

to see the flame
so bright, warm and calm

on five folding tables
borrowed from church
covered with white
table paper

and a vase of flowers, centered
on each table set for ten
with silverware, water cups, napkins,

plates with the buffet spread on oak
deacon-bench tables that line one wall,
covered with dish after dish of food
in the basement

with a wood-stove fire glowing
at the end of the room opposite
steps, steep and narrow enough,

forty eight gathered
siblings, spouses, offspring,
three generations
aged two to seventy seven

stand, a circle around the room,
bow our heads for the preacher
to invoke the Dear Heavenly Father
to bless us in Jesus' name

then sing
a cappella
in glorious, four part

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

while my son shelters under his arm
the Jewish girl among us

while the daughter
of the newly bankrupt couple
looks at the floor, blond hair
swung forward hiding her face

while the recently separated one
clenches his hands, white knuckled,
and we all observe without comment
the absence of his wife and two children

while one grieves her dear
old horse put down two weeks ago
on the day we still mourn

the anniversary of Eva's death,
our beloved sister-in-law, aunt,
grandmother, sister, mother, wife,
too young, eleven years now

while one savors success—
new degree, new job—
and two treasure the secret
of new life growing

my sister the hostess
releases the reigns of organization
allowing the day to flow
forward, as it will

we celebrate
enduring, ephemeral ties

see the candle.
Be the candle.

~Carol Bindel