The Reluctant Writer: Something Else to do When I Should Be Writing

December 25, 2009

Happiness, busy-ness, stillness, and peace — from Muddy Ford

Filed under: Christmas,New Brookland Tavern — cynthiaboiter @ 15:34
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All the members of the Boiter-Jolley clan enjoy the luxury of a happily busy life.  We’ve always been that way, even when Annie & Bonnie were little girls and their days were spent in ballet and orchestra and book club and t-ball, etc.  Now, as adults, they are busier than ever, just like me and Bob.   For us, sleep has always been something that we surrendered to — our beds seldom seeing us before 2 am.  There is just so much to do in the world — so much to see and enjoy — life doesn’t give us enough hours — we are forced to cheat time whenever we can.

But there are two days out of the year that we deemed sacred many years ago — days when we wear our pajamas all day and when the term busy just doesn’t apply.  Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.  On these days, the world doesn’t matter — there is an invisible force field between the Ford and the rest of civilization.  We eat when we’re ready — we wear what feels comfy — we do whatever we want.  It is nothing less than joyous and we have observed this special ritual of removing ourselves from the world on these two days for many, many years now.

But I don’t take it for granted.  My little girls have grown to women now.  One of them is in love and sharing a home with a beautiful boy.  The other will soon be out in the world, who knows where, sharing her gifts with a larger and unknown audience.  I am keenly aware of how lucky we have been to have kids who loved the home they grew up in as much as we loved watching them grow there.  But I am equally aware that someday soon, maybe even this year, the four of us will rise on Christmas morning for the last time as a family unit.  I don’t let myself think too much about the years gone by of footie pajamas and cookies left out for Santa, the letters left by the fireplace, the magic we had the pleasure of making once our girls were sleeping soundly in their beds.  Time is a mean and beautiful and hateful thing.  Sometimes it is best to just ignore it.

Because we have this year, this day — and it is glorious — I wish all of you a happy day of realizing the many beauties of your life — wherever you may find them.  Shut the world out if you can — immerse yourself in only the things that are meaningful to you.  Enjoy yourself.  Play.  If old traditions don’t work for you anymore — abandon them and make new ones.  Cultivate your own sense of happiness and peace.  It’s what we’re here for.

Merry Christmas from the gang at Muddy Ford.

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November 13, 2009

Super powers, football, Jesus, SC Progressive Network, Confederate Fagg & Alternacirque

I used to think that my chosen super power would be the ability to fly.  Convenience aside, what a kick it would be to literally see the world from the perspective of Google Earth.  I won’t even go into the power of spitting on people from above.  But I’ve been re-thinking my super power selection lately and decided that, instead of flight, I might want to focus on the ability to be in two places at the same time.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of this when my kids were little — it would have made dashing between viola and ballet performances so much easier.

Saturday is one of those days when being in more than one place at a time would come in unusually handy.  If you live in Columbia and you’ve been out of bed this week, you know that USC plays the University of Florida in football tomorrow.  Florida is ranked #1 in the country and they have this Tim Tebow Jesus figure QB who evidently has the ability to make grown men throw their panties at him.  So despite the fact that, as Bonnie says, “we’re going to get our asses handed to us tomorrow,” (to which her Dad replies, “well, yeah, with that kind of attitude”), our family of sports fans (and recognize, please, that by sports fans I mean anything between people who obsess over sports and people who merely tolerate it for the tailgating) will be attending this game.  All day.  Because that is how football works.  Far more hours are spent in preparation for the event than in attending the event itself.  It’s like a wedding that way, except at the end of a wedding most people go home happy and drunk — with football you just go home drunk.

I used to make fun of families who engaged in this kind of addictive behavior, yet here we are.  I take responsibility for it, though.  I knew it was a slippery slope when Annie came to USC  and I suggested that we tailgate for one of her college games.  Though not a big recreational drug user, I can only imagine that Carolina football is something like crack or crystal meth.  Do it once, then you find yourself doing it again, and again — hating yourself and going broke in the process with nothing to show but lost hours of your life and the empty shell of a fan.  Go Cocks.

But if I could be in two places at one time tomorrow, I could go to the game and blah, blah, blah, but I could also do so many other things, starting with an interview I’ve been trying to get set up with Andie MacDowell all week.  After that I could go to An Argentine Affair at 7 pm at the Big Apple, participate in their silent auction — ask anybody, I am a silent auction animal — and possibly win that awesome satirical portrait of our much beloved governor painted by Alejandro Garcia, or that Stephen Chesley watercolor,  or a funky coffee table by Art and Iron, or any of the many items donated by Swiftwater Beads, Hip-wa-zee, Bert Easter, and others — and I would know that my spontaneously spent cash would be going to support one of the most important groups in our state, the South Carolina Progressive Network.  When that closes down at 9 pm, I could then go over the river to New Brooklyn Tavern and, starting at 8:30, see Columbia Alternacirque open up for Confederate Fagg, quaff a few suds, and watch the parade. What an amazing day half of me would have!

But just because I have to load up the van on Saturday morning doesn’t mean that everyone else will.  Go have yourself some big fun at the Big Apple — tickets are $25 for a single and $40 for a couple and can be reserved by calling 803.808.3384.  Then when you’re done, if you don’t know how to get to NBT, just follow the trail of cigarette smoke and awesomeness.

If on the way over you get spat upon from above, don’t look at me — I’ll still be at the game.

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