Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stoking the Fires

Sharon Wildwind

In Norse mythology, the two weeks after winter solstice (this year December 22 to January 5) are when good and evil battle for control of the world. If the sun comes up on January 6th, good will have won for one more year. Hmm, anyone else notice the correspondence to January 6th being the 12th day of Christmas?

Jumping from mythology to science, remember the consequence of Newton’s first law? An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it. I don’t know about you, but I am at rest right now.

Not peaceful, serene, contemplative at rest. Too little sleep; too many shortbread cookies; too much schedule disruption; and too many dark, cold nights rest. In other words, exhausted, cranky, out of sorts, stopped cold, sunk in the slough of despair rest.

I hope I remembered to do all of those be-kind-to-myself banking the fires activities that I recommended in last week’s blog because I sure don’t have the energy to do them right now.

What I need most right now are some unbalanced forces—forces for good—to act on my behalf.

If you’ve ever stoked a banked fire, you know that you don’t simply set a huge log on the coals and walk away. You have to coax the fire out of hiding. You start by adding a few twigs and blowing on the coals. When the twigs catch, add some kindling. When the kindling catches, add small logs. Eventually you work up to a fire that’s big enough to warm the room and boil water for tea.

So here are some suggestions for stoking your banked artistic fire.

Between now and the full moon on January 9, plant something. Literally. The moon is waxing and the world is starting its tilt from solstice toward spring equinox. When the waxing moon and the waxing world coming together it’s a great time to push for a little more green in the world. Start an amaryllis bulb. Plant seeds. Repot and feed a tired plant that’s limping through the winter. I spent an hour Monday morning repotting and feeding all of the plants that I’m responsible for at work. Hey, I want good to win that good/evil battle. Every new growing thing is a vote for the good guys. If you think you have the world’s brownest thumb, ask a friend who gardens to foster a plant for you.

After all this dark and cold our bodies are so not ready to jump into that new year’s resolution of going to the gym every day. We have to start small. Stand up. Starting at your toes and working up the body, tighten all of your muscles. When you reach your shoulder muscles, raise your hands high above your head. Keep tightening muscles to your finger tips. Hold that arms up, every muscled tightened pose for five seconds. Beginning at your fingers relax. Keep relaxing the muscle groups all the way down to your toes. Take some deep breaths. Repeat this tense-relax-breath sequence at least 10 times a day. Park your car at the end of the parking lot and walk into the mall or your office. Get off the bus one stop early and walk a block. This is the pre-pre-warm up for cranking up the body again.

Find yourself a talisman, something that will focus all your good thoughts about your writing during the coming year. I was very fortunate to get one for Christmas. Here it is.
Just looking at it or holding it in my hands fills me with anticipation of the good things I might be able to do. I'm banking on the good guys winning one more time, and the sun coming up on January 6th.

Happy New Year everyone.
Quote for the week

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. ~Aaron Rose, director, producer, writer, independent curator, artist


Leslie Budewitz said...

Lovely reminders for this week-between, as we and the Universe ready for the new year. Your talisman is delightful! I got one, too -- a Laini's Ladies Adornment http://bottman.com/products/lainis_ladies_adornments -- a woman in red dancing to a quote from Louisa May Alcott: "She is too fond of books, and it has addled her brain."

Warm wishes from your neighbor slightly south!

Rosemary Harris said...

All good advice!