NPR recently posted their Best Music of 2015 roundup (click on the photo above to check it out), and just seeing that triggered a bit of sadness in me. Every year I wait for it to go live – it’s become the soundtrack of my late night work sessions during the Christmas season. It’s not that I’m having any sort of shortage on late nights around here, it’s just that I’m not spending any of those hours doing things like this:
I’ll write in more detail about this later, but this year I’m not churning out one hundred handcut cards. I had an idea for cards this year that I loved, but once my grandfather fell ill a few weeks ago and then passed away – well, the idea just felt really hollow, and I knew my heart wasn’t going to be in it. And I really have to feel strongly about what I’m making in order to sit down and do the work for so many hours on end. I remember how numb we were two years ago, right after my niece died. I couldn’t imagine sitting at a table by myself each night for several weeks. Our family only functioned that season by piling into the same room and hunkering down together. But I was able to turn some of those long, hard hours into something beautiful like her – I just shifted the way I usually do things, and I cut evergreen branches out of paper with scissors as I sat with my family close beside me.
It’s been harder for me to come up with an alternative idea this year. And since we traveled out of state three times over four weeks, there really hasn’t been a lot of time (or energy) to get started. But late last week I did come up with an idea for a New Year’s card – and I’ve got that in the works now. I worked on the design for it, but I’m having it printed by someone else. It’s nothing like the intricate cards of past holidays, but I’m okay with that.
There will be new ideas again – that’s the one thing I can count on. The thought of that brings me great joy, even in this quieter season of reflection and grief.