Yesterday was a mix of chaos and calm. I went to church where I was leading a session on crèche building from found objects--for more on that process, see this post on my theology blog. It was fun and interesting, but also, as our pastor called it, "a holy chaos." It took me almost an hour to clean up after the creating was done.
I stopped at Jo-Ann's fabrics on the way home. I needed some items for the Secret Santa activities at work this week. I won't say more, since the Secret Santa should be secret. But I was happy to have that wrapped up. I don't particularly like Christmas shopping for loved ones, let alone people at work who are still strangers to me.
I got home anticipating a lunch of leftover pizza, but my spouse had eaten it before leaving on his motorcycle ride with his brother. At first I felt like crying--but then I laughed at myself. I can make a pizza--and so I did.
My mood in the early afternoon had that same chaotic feeling as the morning at church: up and down and messy. But I got the pizza dough started, did some dishes, put fresh sheets on the bed, and I started to feel better. Once I ate some pizza and settled in to review photos and get some writing done, my mood evened out.
As the afternoon darkened into evening, I put on a Christmas CD and wondered what to read next. I've just finished 2 big books, in terms of length and the fact that they were non-fiction. I hadn't made it to the library to pick up something else. I looked at my bookshelves and thought, you say you keep these books so that you'll always have something good to read--so choose one.
I settled in to read Octavia Butler's The Parable of the Sower, a book I'd been thinking of since the election. When I first read it, decades ago in 1994 when it first came out, it seemed prescient. Now that we're closer to 2024, the year in which the novel begins, it seems both prescient and lacking--but still very compelling, even though I've already read it multiple times.
It was strange to read the apocalyptic book with the Christmas music playing softly, while listening for the approaching roar of the motorcycle. Once he was home, we took the Advent wreath to the porch, where we lit four candles, sipped some wine, and caught up with each other.
So, we have arrived at the week before Christmas. In many years, I would have more days off, but this year, I do not. Still, there will be a few days off, and this year, that will be enough.