Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Twelfth night

As Epiphany arrives today, the holiday season officially ends with this, the twelfth night of Christmas.  Epiphany usually celebrates the commemoration of the wise men's journey to meet Jesus after his birth, but it can also be defined as a striking event or an illuminating realization.  It's only January sixth, but in less than a week, I've had a few of them already. 
On New Year's Day I was flossing and out popped a chunk of one of my molars, so I spent part of this morning in my dentist's chair receiving the prep work for my first filling.  Yes, you read that right...and Dr. Thebes was amazed as well that I made it this far with no cavities.  I'll head back in a couple of weeks when he can replace it with the real deal, but until then, I'm infinitely thankful to know that I have been...and will be in incredibly good hands.
What a way to usher out the old year and welcome the new.  And that simple fix for my chipped tooth wasn't the only thing to surprise me this week.

When Shakespeare wrote Twelfth Night, he infused a love triangle, music, merriment, and of course, a few choice lines that still apply today, particularly with social media running rampant (my favorite being, Leave thy vain bibble babble!).  While there has been no love triangle in my life since 2008, there has been a wonderful infusion of music and cheerfulness this holiday season...all of which has seamlessly flowed into the new year. 
My pal, Tony, recently got me hooked on Leven Helm and John Hiatt.  I've been listening to Paul Winter, Will Ackerman, Mozart, and Bach for the better part of the winter.  While putting away the last of the holiday decorations, I tuned into James Taylor Holiday Radio on Pandora.  What a bittersweet thing to hear my favorite rendition of River by Joni Mitchell, which reminded me of one of my favorite episodes of thirtysomething.  So on Monday morning, I telephoned The Bedford Falls Company (founded by Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, the creators of thirtysomething) and spoke with their representative about sending them a copy of The Lace Makers in the hopes that they might be interested in producing it as a feature film.
"We'd be happy to look at it in March," Scott replied cheerfully.  "Please send it then."
I can't wait.
But other things can.

We're still waiting for the results of Tony's lab results which will arrive tomorrow afternoon.  His surgery went well on Christmas Eve, but since the cancer has returned after treatment, he may need to look into alternative care.  When we talked last week, he filled me in on the details and I was heartened to hear that he's considering options that were out of the question a few months ago.  
Before the second diagnosis, I reminded Tony that we should finally get around to writing a book about Rolfing, a project I had suggested ten years ago as I didn't want him to retire without sharing his vast knowledge of the practice.
He shook his head.  "Nah...I'm taking it with me."
"Okay," I smiled.  "Whatever you want."
Last week it was a different story.  Tony changed his mind, so we'll begin the outline soon and will hopefully have a finished project by the end of the summer. 
"You know you're infamous as one of the best Rolfers on the planet," I told him.  "When I lived at Esalen, people from all over Europe talked about you and were totally jealous that I only live fifteen minutes from your office."
Tony shrugged.
"Seriously...you're world famous!"
He lifted a brow and shot me a sly smile.  "So's syphillis."
As you can imagine, I can't wait to start working with my incredible friend on a book that has been decades in the making.  When I went to the library and returned all of the unfinished research I had gathered for the sequel to The Lace Makers, I felt a lightness, an incredible release.  I'll get back to it in time, but it was a relief to know I'll be taking a much-needed hiatus from the Holocaust and Civil War eras to write with Tony, sharing his passion for work, his creativity, his enthusiasm for a practice that has recreated the lives of hundreds of people in our little corner of the world.
What an epiphany to realize that, through working with Mary on My Journey of Faith and Hope and with Tony in the initial stages of his labor of love,  writing for others is just as satisfying as working on a project of my own.  Maybe even more so, as I've discovered the wonderful gifts in collaboration, intimate communication, and transforming a manuscript into a finished book, then placing it into someone's hands like a newborn baby. 

Even though the official holiday season comes to a close tonight, I'll leave the candles burning in the windows until the end of February, so that the light inside of my home in the Heartland mirrors the light inside my heart.  As I light them one by one on this Twelfth Night, I'll intend that, for the next twelve months, I'll give my time, my care, and my love as a gift...as an offering to those who want and need it.  
        So when Christmastime returns once again next December, it will simply be the culmination of a celebration that has lasted all year long.