spirit flows thru -- Alison Rittger's spiritual reflections on finding the holy in the daily
PictureFoxibeau gets a cold weather gift.
No religion anchors this holiday for me. I am on my own to make the best of these weeks of stress justified by a birth story. Clearly, no Holy Baby’s B-day can account for snowflakes on light poles or beribboned tree trunks. If I feel pressured to run up my credit cards, it will be because others set more store by the holidays, particularly children.

As for everyone or anyone else, including my grown sons, I may send cards. I don’t usually even do that whereas many friends from my past still do keep me in the loop with their lettery updates.

If I were a writer of lettery updates, I would talk about my dog, Foxibeau, how my cataract surgeries proved successful despite one black eye that resulted, the doctor said, from hitting a blood vessel during the numbing process. I would complain about the long time it is taking to get a dental implant and how annoying it is to see the glistening expanse of white teeth smiling at me from billboards and in commercials selling everywhere.

I would brag that so far I have ignored holiday sales pitches from the likes of Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Eddie Bauer, etc. but did fall into the “Yap” at Ghirardelli Square and purchase an expensive cold weather coat for Foxibeau, the dog I mentioned was mine. I would write that I could not resist the look of my small animal in a form fitting pleather and faux fur wrap. Most of my friends will remember the look of Marlon Brando in the 1953 movie The Wild One as he dismounted his Harley Davidson to wreak havoc in his sullen sexy way.

Of course, I had no intention to spend big bucks for a dog’s outfit, but when this cold snap hit, I saw my neighbor walking his dog, Cooper, who looked cute in an orange coat with Velcro straps. He told me he bought it at Yap. I was thus motivated to outfit Foxibeau, although intending to buy at the low end of the price range. It proved impossible once the salesman fastened the twin Velcro straps under my dog’s throat and belly, securing my creature into what did look like fur-lined black leather. He showed me how easy it would be to lift the dog by the strap on the back of the coat. Moreover the coat had a pocket on the back for added elegance. The salesman attached our red leash and walked the dog a step or two. I am sure the admiration I saw gleaming on the ruddy cheeks of strangers seeing us pass was more than mere imagining.

Perhaps so much background information will not interest the recipients of my lettery update, but those who knew me will remember how much I reveled in detail and will recall that I was one of the few who did not skip over scene setting or lists while reading a book.

My lettery update might give the impression that my life has not been interesting, as I have only a trip to Cuba more than a year ago to mention, and no other forays into unexplored countries. I would say that the most compelling explorations this past year have been into my personal trauma vortex and in investigating the missing early matrix that keeps me seeking safety rather than rushing off to airports to be landed in unexplored tourist meccas. I might say I meditate, a disciplined method of letting be with equanimity and curiosity.

Above all, I would want my lettery update to be succinct, snappy and written in short sentences. And I would conclude it with a wish for all beings, the ones I know and care for as well as those yet unmet, to live with happiness, peace, and safety, to be filled with loving kindness and to be held in loving kindness. And that would do it for this holiday season.

If you intended to send a card or buy a gift for me or anyone else, don’t let me dissuade you. I trust we will all do the best we can.

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