How I met the most incredible human being.

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My faith in humanity got a recent boost when one of my daughters asked to add her partner’s sister to our pub steak night, explaining.
“She’s really nice. You’ll like her.”
Like her we certainly did!
First there was her appearance. the dramatic black topped dress blossoming into a bright gold and black bell shape worthy of a stage production, set off by long waist length plaits and minimal make up.
Her answers to the “usual questions” were far from usual. She lived in a converted warehouse, home to many artists, musicians and travelers, (and those just seeking a cheap place to live in London). An aspiring artist herself (waitressing to pay the bills)she showed me some of her work. I was impressed by the vivid, exuberant colour (beginning to feel already an affinity due to my former art studies etc.)
She understood, to become a success in the sordid world of art there had to be compromises, major compromises! (I recall my same realization.) Not prepared to do that, she planned to study physiotherapy in her mother’s native Finland. An enterprise I encouraged her in as a worthwhile and rewarding profession.
She spoke of the social community in which she lived, the fun they had, blossoming against all odds in London’s cosmopolitan hierarchy.
She was free! She reminded me of myself long, long ago and hope blossomed. There were still people like that around, whole communities of them that saw through the fabricated rat race of society, that wanted no part of it. My heart blossomed with joy for this wild flower growing amid the city streets.

Christmas misconceptions

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manger

A friend shared how she was dreading Christmas.

“Why?” I asked, sad she didn’t share my joy.

She explained, every year she has to suffer affluent, obnoxious relatives lecturing her about her alternate lifestyle, and how she’s afraid her son might feel bad with his more simple presents etc. (she’s an artist and lives on a canal boat with her partner and son – lovely lady!). I suggested, enduring the day for the sake of family unity, but having a separate Christmas of their own before or after. She liked the idea.

Pondering about it later I thought how much closer she was to the real story.

The true wonder of Christmas is that God didn’t choose an affluent Roman villa, or well to do folks. He chose a humble middle eastern village under enemy occupation, a place among animals, probably a bit smelly and definitely poor. He didn’t go with the “status quo”.

Nowadays the spirit of Christmas is often camouflaged, distorted by greedy, media advertising. ┬áMaybe that’s why my daughter and I are jumping up and down (sometimes literally) with joy that its “that season” while others seem bogged down in preparations etc.