All around her the bustle whizzes by. Lives of others surround her existence and she wanders through between them. The joy, the magic, where has it gone? Her heart cries sadly for the woman she has become. Each Christmas the darkness clings to her, it’s wretched claws tightening around her until she can’t breath under it’s grip. She awaits it this year, sniffing the air for the foul stench of her festive season darkness.
Surprise, surprise, she doesn’t detect anything She starts to look forward to and plan a Christmas day with gladness in her heart. One night an adventure begins with pancakes and the best friend and her 2 year old. It’s surprise ending is a late night trip into the city. The Melbourne Town Hall is lit up in a magnificent display of light and sound. Magical minutes of perfectly timed animation and music fitted intricately onto a majestic building. Then wandering through Melbourne discovering Christmas lights and windows on it’s streets.
The magic of Christmas lights reflects in the face of a child. Something trickles into her soul. Her own heart finds again the joy that once filled her heart as a child. She remembers nights tracking the progress of Santa, swearing that she heard him chomping on biscuits in the dark hours of the night. This Christmas season she finds delight in the magic of Christmas, surprising herself. And others.
She thinks she’s made it through. The grip of the monster comes by surprise as she is going about her tasks on Christmas night. It should be a special day she thinks, but here I am doing what I do every day. As the days pass, families do family things and for her, life continues as normal. Her singleness and far away family rendering her life bland and out of any loops.
She holds on. Clinging to the magic that trickled into her heart only days before. Fighting the claw that feeds her lies awaiting the next pleasant surprise of freedom.
I’ve been so busy, both with the festive season and with life. My boss is away and I’m being bossy and doing extra shifts. The past few weeks I have felt as if I work, eat, sleep and shop and that’s it! In amongst all of this I have been pondering this delicate photo challenge. I have photos of flowers and a few other delicate things that reflect delicate but I just wasn’t satisfied with them. I wanted something that creatively reflected delicacy. I also wanted to use some photos I’d taken of Christmas ornaments recently. I was driving along one day and I had this revelation. Christmas is delicate in so many ways.
In the past Christmas has been incredibly delicate for me personally. I have often had to work on Christmas day and have even spent a Christmas or two alone. It is a time where I have felt intensely alone and lonely which has deepened the depression that plagues my life at times.
Christmas is a delicate time for our family – personalities, issues, long standing difficulties, the wants and needs of 10 adults and 4 kids and the other families involved is complicated. Christmas is often preceded by arguments amongst sisters about where, what, when, who doesn’t love who, who travels most… the list goes on…. Delicate hearts and minds are pushed and prodded and wrestle with one another. No one wins in the end.
This year, in my own delicate state, I am trying to focus on Christmas. For some that means family. For me, it means remembering why we celebrate Christmas and finding the joy and magic of Christmas that I once knew as a child. My heart smiles as I say that I have found some of it! Christmas lights, the Melbourne Town Hall display, Carols, the awe struck faces of Children, the generosity and love of friends around me and reminding myself to count my many blessings even when the negativity within tells me that I have nothing and no-one. I am not perfect, I still make choices that are in a word – stupid. I struggle each and every day to find joy, it is there but blinkers blind me from the truth.
Finally, I remember the delicate nature of Christ’s beginning as a man. He came for us beginning as a babe in Mary’s womb and then a fragile, tiny newborn. My good friend and house mate wrote a beautiful article on Christ as a baby – read it here
God bless you all during this Christmas season. If anyone is struggling with Christmas, feel free to comment or email me privately.
Evenings at the soccer followed by dinner or coffee in the city. Afternoons kicking the soccer ball with little Levi. Sandy sticky evenings at the beach with little Sarah. Busy days of shift after shift. Crazy shopping centres filled with frantic Christmas shoppers.
Wisteria filling the air with its sweet scent at our front door. The whir of the fan lulling me to sleep. Balmy days filled with rain, cold nights, hot nights, dry hot days and thundery days. This is Melbourne. This is summer.
I spent the larger part of a day soaking up the atmosphere of Salamanca Market on Saturday the 27th of October. It was in the middle of my Tasmanian holiday, I spent the weekend exploring some of the island state. I had in my excited little hands a fancy pants digital SLR camera that my friends had leant me for the trip to Hobart from their place near Devonport. To my further excitement there was a collection of vintage cars on show. I’m not a car fanatic by any means, but I love old cars. A remnant of my childhood. We were dragged to car shows as kids by a father who is a mechanic and loves cars. A lot. I can’t tell you what this car is. It was a white one and this is the front light with a bit of the grill there too.
I deserted my road trip buddy for a good hour or two to obsess and capture these vehicles. The sun and overhanging ancient trees created photos with many interesting reflections. I chose this photo as the refection captures an essence of my day soaking in ambiance at the market. The blue skies littered with white clouds and sunshine. Old trees providing shade and people thronging around. I haven’t edited this photo, it is one that is completely untouched.
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