A dollar for your thoughts, not a penny, and here’s why. We are not talking about the far away look on someone’s face that prompts the old time saying. The idea here is far more subtle, so subtle in fact that most of us don’t know it, don’t see it, and in many cases couldn’t care less.
Let’s pause for a moment and ask ourselves, what time is it? Not the time of day, but the time of year; The Holiday Season, the Christmas Season, the season of joy and peace. Yet, how much of the news and the advertisements on television, in the papers and magazines, and now, even on the internet pages we visit hour by hour, have been about Joy and Peace, about brotherly and sisterly love, about taking time out to remember the Spirit of the Season? Not much. Yes there is some, but the overwhelming majority have been about shopping, about buying and giving (meant getting) gifts – merchandise, where the root of the word is merchant – a world as old as human memory – of salt caravans crossing sun baked deserts – merchants hawking their wares for a profit, not a prophet.
I’m asking you – the reader – to pause for a moment, look at the season, look at the setting sun, racing lower and lower towards the horizon. Watch the daytime slowly become the least, the night become the longest, and our sun stand still in the sky for three days at the winter solstice, before beginning its rebirth and ascent again to the equinox and the solstice of summer. Does that give you awe? Even without any knowledge of celestial mechanics, to imagine the sun pausing and rising again, without any influence of our own, other than to spectate at the miraculous, has to give us pause.
We must in whatever way possible, or sensible to our own life, take moments each day to pause and reflect on the world, on life, meaning, and consequence. Ask questions about yourself, your life, the world, and look at meaning. It is so simple, so easy to overlook, and yet so peaceful and joyful to behold.
In closing I promised a fellow blogger from Paris I would find and post the poem that is the title of today’s blog. After months of searching through old boxes here it is;
Written in the winter of 1972 while working as a cashier at Alexander’s Department store in New York City, on a night when I was sent to fur storage – The words are as true today as ever –
5th Floor, Santa Claus
Wayward winds in ceaseless sales
Empty holds of chemical memories
Sweat salt stench fills the head;
Numb to simple vibes
and battered vacant stares
… This season of joy and peace causes wonderment
May Peace, Joy, and Wonder fill your days this season and always!