POET'S CORNER by Jeff Hartzer
#007: December 2004


Permission Granted

Poets, writers and “artistic” types, no matter their race or creed, love to be heard; they love to send out their words and family pictures this time of year. Those “newsletters” that come with a Holiday Greeting may have been written by one of these “cultural creatives.” We all have an innate need to connect with others in this the “darkest season.” You've probably already mailed off your Holiday Greetings and Gifts. Hanukkah's Festival of Lights began on Pearl Harbor Day this year and the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe is long gone. Soon it will be 2005, the “Year of the Rooster” in Chinese astrology.

Some days, it seems as if our whole world is jump-started by seasons, holidays, and the simple “rush” to rush around and get it done. Our first Christmas card arrived this year on December First! Being the first to mail out Holiday Greetings might be one of that family's holiday traditions. Perhaps they spend Christmas in Paris or maybe they just set really overly responsible goals for themselves. Reminds me of those folks who go shopping at Four a.m. the day after Thanksgiving.
Congratulations for your promptness and there are savings to be had, but Golly Gosh, permission is hereby granted to r-e-l-a-x a bit.

Making a chore out of the Holiday To Do list sucks the life out of the season. Someone has to wrap those presents and ship them off to the relatives and those Holiday cards ... you think they just write, lick, and stamp themselves? Well no, but ease up a bit on Holiday “responsibilities.” Make those things that seem like chores become more like true gifts. Have some fun. Be kind with your self-imposed deadlines. Give yourself a gift like cutting down your card list this year. Or skip sending cards altogether and make a real connection with close friends by using those “free” cell phone minutes to actually talk to them. What a concept! Don’t be so locked into the rules; if your HOLIDAY card arrives for New Year’s Day, where's the crime? There’s a War on after all. These are difficult enough times we are living in. Let the whole month be festive. Winter Celebrations don’t have to end or begin on a certain date.

All we are trying to do with this season when the nights are long and the days so short is to bring light to the darkness. Aren’t our gifts, cards, and good wishes really about that after all? Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Christmas,Yule, each is a celebration of Light in their unique ways. Is there any winter’s night that a little Light can’t help us with the darkness? And speaking of lights, permission is granted to not have the most elaborate set of blinking lights on your block of the world. And who cares if your neighbor gets the decorations up earlier than you or has fifty thousand more blinking twinklies than you. Let a few good lights be your aim. Do your best to get it out there and then, permission is granted to ENJOY it.

Enjoy an evening at the Balloon Fiesta Park or the Biological Park or take in a movie. Check out Old Town or take a drive out under a night sky of stars to Isleta Pueblo and enjoy the lights and luminarias of both city and countryside. Take time for your self. Journal about past and future Holidays. Write about the mid-winter’s view from your own private window. Bless those who have come and gone before us. Enjoy our New Mexican “incense and myrrh,” that sweet smell of piñon and juniper in the air. Fill your emptiness with light. Gosh darn it all, permission is granted to have some rollicking good fun. God Bless us all this season.

Jeff Hartzer
copyright 2004







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Written by Jeff Hartzer , The Poet's Corner appears monthly in Albuquerque's South Valley Ink.



Jeff Hartzer, MEd. presents a unique view of poetry as a magical gift waiting to be opened . Jeff is a poet, writer, teacher, and the Executive Director of the AirDance ArtSpace. ( 1-505-842-9418).

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