October 5, 2011

writer's block and jack o lanterns

i haven't written much lately because I have been at a loss for words when I sit at my computer to write.  Driving home from work, picking out which peanut butter to buy at the grocery store, when I lie awake in the middle of the night staring at the clock....these are the times when words fill my head and thoughts come together.  Then just as quickly the words fade, the thoughts no longer make sense, the rational part of my brain takes over and says, "you can't post that."  Part of my problem is that October is just a rough month anyways, we have a history you might say...October is a month of reality, and that doesn't always suit me very well.  Somehow that transition from September to October hits, like a child the year turns from 9 to 10 and the weight of "double digits" brings closure to a simpler time.  The expectations of a new year, the hopefulness of spring, the rollicking reverie of summer, even the excitement of a new school year all seem to slip away and I start to think, "well it hasn't happened yet, it probably won't this year," and that makes me a bit gloomy.   The days are significantly shorter and there's no hiding the fact that I can see my breath when I leave for work in the morning.  Summer dresses can no longer stand up to the dropping temperatures and the toes that reveled in sunshine and sandals are banished to the dungeons of socks and boots.  And then on top of all of this reality and chill there's halloween hitting me in the face everywhere I go.   Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good costume and pumpkins and my fair share of funsized candies; I'm even a huge fan of the Nightmare Before Christmas, but there is only so much creepiness I can take.  Gorey goblins and wicked witches, spooky spiders and grey gravestones seem to take up every available space, and the constant reminder of death and evil just get a bit tiring after a while.
I know that some people get mad about Christmas taking over store fronts in October, they claim that Christmas has no place taking over Halloween and Thanksgiving's time in the spotlight.  In some ways I can see their point but for me it's one of the few things that gets me through October.  The Incarnation, God becoming flesh and dwelling among His people is what gives me hope. I know that no matter how much reality slaps me around that Jesus felt the same.  Walking through Macy's and seeing the Christmas dishes displayed, Hallmark moving the ornaments to the front of the store, sneaking a Christmas CD into my computer at work, these are all things that give me joy and get me through the first frosts and barrage of jack o' lanterns because they remind me that Jesus loves me enough to take on flesh.  And because He came and lived here on Earth for a bit, I know that not only does He "get it" when the gloominess sinks in and I can only pray in sighs, but He will also love me through it.  In the words of one of my fabulous Titus 2 Women, "Christmas really does make everything better"

Linking up with Emily at Imperfect Prose