Today is Christmas! (FYI sorry for the mini-hiatus. Finals kicked in, then travel sans a computer. But luckily, my repertoire is full of drafts and thoughts that I have been keeping at stalk since early December. With time at hand, you bests be getting ready for a variety of mind dumps. And man, let me tell you, I have a lot to say.) Started it off well with church with two women, I love so dearly. My mother and ninang, godmother for all those that may not be Filipino. My godmother recently has been diagnosed with multiple cancers and is as far as I know doing well now. My mother, also striving, works hard to maintain a life by herself here at home as a retired woman. I know she doesn't it mention it often but it must be hard to have a home with that amount of quiet time when living with oneself. I sometimes feel that I get a glimpse of it when I enter my studio but that's after a full day of interaction on campus, walking around in a city, and completing a robust agenda. It's not that a pity her but I can only imagine how it may not always be a comfortable feeling. Now, how is this all related to Christmas? Well, the priest asked what we would want from our 'Santa' today. With the wheels turning in my families head, I can imagine my ninang asking for better health. My mother, for financial stability. And myself, hoping for a sense of certainty about my future. Are we asking too much? Are we deserving of what we want? What limits us from getting what we need?
The priest shared with us a story about a time when he was a child and visited Santa. Santa always asks the two questions, "have you been a good boy/girl?" and "what do you want for Christmas?" He answered Santa saying the thought he did pretty well as far as his behavior, but did not feel like he deserved the gift he really wanted (a yellow Tonka truck). So, he'll settle for whatever Santa decides to bring. But the whole homily ended up being about how, yes we know that Santa has pretty pimply powers. He can fly around the world with his reindeer in one night, delivering gifts to children around the world, eating every cookie/milk combination he sees, successfully. But there is a much more amazing Santa version that lives in our adult lives now, not contained to a particular holiday or season. Without stating the blatant reference, my point is this. We believe in many, many things as people. Our interpretations of the Higher Power, God, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah and for those I have not mentioned, all exist on a very vast spectrum. Sometimes not even comparable. But the underpinning grounds of all faiths, at least from what I understand, is about Love. And if that is the case, if we are beings empowered by this sentiment, we are instilled with this indestructible force of compassion and forgiveness, that is not limited to any one person, at any one time, at any one place in this world.
Now, I know I speak about Love to ad nauseum, but it is because it is that important. And wonderful, and great. And the best part is that it is not limited to any particular faith, culture, people, religion, community, or country. Love's a hoe. It does everyone. Also, when I do speak of love, I do not only mean of that that exists in an intimate relationship. The love I speak of permeates from the deepest bonds within a family and close friends to acquaintances we meet in our days that we express kindness to and they to us.
I recently visited a number of friends mine back in San Diego and it just amazes me how much love can exist in a circle of friends, even after so many years have passed and the physical distance just seems to increase between us. Yet when I am with them, it is as if time has not passed, we pick up from where we left off, and laugh the same way as before. These people hold a part of my life, my heart with them and theirs with mine wherever I go. They are more than just a passing friendship but a part of me that lives with me in whatever coast I call home. I am who I am because of this exchange of love that I have become blessed to be a part of. No one compares to these girls, and although I will meet a number of other people in my life and join various groups of friends, I want them to know that their love sustains me.
We (the collective 'we') can show each other such an overwhelmingly amount of love and compassion, patience and forgiveness. Even when we don't deserve it, after we may hurt one another with our words, actions, or lack of interest. You really can not underestimate what people can offer to one another in the name of Love. It really is the greatest gift we can receive and offer to one another, which exists in a form that is much larger than any pretty ass bow can tie in. Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Holidays.