Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Visitation

I dreamed of peanuts last night. At least, I suppose it was peanuts, because it was a type of nut with a shell that might collect and crunch on the ground. In the dream, I didn't know the name of the nut. Honestly, I didn't worry about the name. I just enjoyed eating them.

Odd thing is, I didn't go to bed hungry. My diet might lack variety; it might lack the daily recommended amount of one vitamin or the other; but, on average, I eat three times a day. And, on many days, plenty of snacks between. Honestly, how I remain relatively skinny is a mystery to me.
In her comment on my previous entry, Ms. Candide suggests that I am projecting my own lack of joy on Christmas consumers.

That may be true. It may be that Sam has formed a picture of me as a sort of dour fellow. A fellow who does not take much joy in life. And it's true that I've hit a rather rough patch the past few months. With the days shortening, I'm sensing a return of depression (maybe a pinch of SAD). So, when I encourage the generic reader to seek sources of joy, Sam might say that I'm preaching to my reflection.

Not the least bit unusual.

On the other hand, I had supposed that I was reciting a bit of received wisdom. Seems like many sit-coms and commercials are built around the premise that shopping at this time of year is unpleasant, or is stressfull. Do I know any of this from personal experience?

I avoid Christmas shopping during peak times or places because I'm not comfortable in large crowds. So, that's the source of my stress.
In seeking sources of my own joy, I joined a St. Andrew's Day Parade at lunch today. St. Andrew was one of the original 12, and is also the patron saint of Scotland. The parade was sponsored by a growing community of Christians who are rediscovering and embracing Celtic spirituality — in particular, St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, St. Luke's United Methodist Church, and First Christian Church.

The parade was preceded by a brief non-demoninational service. Of special note was this proclamation:
Today we proclaim the sacred streets of Oklahoma City to be for us hallowed ground. Joining our voices in harmony we celebrate our gratidude for the rebirth of our beloved city. Processing together in unity we give thanks for the sanctification that comes from joining our hands in celebration of our common life.
We were led by a group of group of bagpipers from St. Luke's, at 15th and Robinson, to St. Paul's, at 7th and Robinson. We were only 30, so perhaps not much of a parade. But it was grand. Gayle visited with me as we marched to St. Paul's. Then we had a lovely lunch of soup at the Cathedral. We were joined at lunch by Canon Hampton, two members of St. Michael's, Norman, and a member of Emmanuel, Shawnee. We all had a lovely visit.

I didn't think to ask for a lift back to St. Luke's. This wasn't pride, but a misplaced sense of not wanting to be a bother. Still, the walk was good for me. The sky is a clear blue that seems to thrive best during Oklahoma winter days. The wind was brisk, but not so hard as to cut through me.

I feel better now than I did when I began this entry (at 6 am). You know, I keep telling myself that the best cure for depression is to seek people to be with. But I often don't feel like I have the energy to be around people. So the cycle continues.

But today, I was with other people. Some I've known for a year or more, others I just met today. All were fellow pilgrims, and accepted me as one of them.

Lk 1:39-53

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