December 23, 2005

Holiday spirit?

The holidays are upon us. I'm more than a little Humbuggered this year. I don't know why. I have a lot to be thankful for and I have more than many. I just deleted a long post I wrote about nothing. Strange how fickle the writing muse is. Sometimes she dumps a plethora in our little minds to type and others, she's on vacation and you stumble and stub your toes in the dark on furniture you thought should be a foot away.

What is it that causes us to walk around in the dark? The light switch is within easy reach after all. We'd rather stub our toe or jam our foot on something unseen in the dark than light our way and potentially come more awake. Or is it arrogance? I simply KNOW my home. Therefore, I can navigate that home without being able to see. Perhaps we even wonder what it would be like to be blind. Even for a few scary minutes. We tell ourselves - I could adjust. I could live life without seeing.

What about our other senses. I've often heard the question: If you had to choose to be blind or deaf, which would you choose? I used to have an irrational fear of something plunging into my eye when I was younger. Of becoming blind. Sometimes it comes back unbidden, uncalled. Especially when I feel eye fatigue. Those two round orbs sitting in their sockets. So delicate. So taken for granted.

I had the opportunity this week to listen to someone open a Christmas box. I couldn't be with them in person, so I listened via the phone. I closed my eyes and let myself transport to them via sound. From the tape being cut to the box being opened. Their fingers delving into the foam peanuts. The sound tiny squeals of delight from the foam bits as they rubbed against each other. The exuberance and joy of the person as they discovered each tiny treasure hidden in the foam became music to my ears.

In those moments, I rediscovered the joy of giving. Without physical contact, without seeing them. I had only my ears to guide me to create the picture of a reality in a room far away. The small intonation changes in their voice. Their in drawn breath of surprise. The gifts were small, inexpensive things, but carefully thought out. I'd never really considered the impact a small thoughtful gift could have on someone. Perhaps most of my life I've thought of gifts in terms of value.

I've given a lot of gifts in my time, but the joy of giving was quickly quenched. A surge of pleasure that never seemed to last as long as I hoped. Perhaps the difference was in not seeing, but hearing. Really hearing. As in listening. I've heard people say that blind people have sharper senses. I've heard a blind person say it's not true, claiming instead that they actually listen rather than simply hear.

So, my Christmas wish for you, as my reader, is that you are able to focus this holiday season and actually listen instead of simply hearing. Take the time and energy to slow down and really listen to the people around you. I think you will find your holidays will become much more than you imagined. And perhaps that will last much longer.


At 2:14 PM, Blogger JayneSays said...

What a lovely sentiment (and so well-written)! Merry, Merry Christmas!

At 11:56 PM, Blogger 30Something said...

Thank you for the Christmas wish.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year MM.

***** BIG HUGS *****

At 9:25 PM, Blogger buddha_girl said...

My thoughts exactly. My day was spent smiling at my six month old as his poor eyes bugged out while staring at his cousins who rolled around on the floor amidst wrapping and bows.

Hope yours was half as wonderful as mine!

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Binsk said...

Word Munkey.

All the best.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Her Daddy's Eyes said...

Unlike so many times in the past, I DID listen this year.

I listened to my mother tell me the time I spent with her on Christmas Eve wasn't good enough. I listened to my father's happy voice on the phone as I told him I baked his favorite pie for Christmas dessert even though he lives so far away. I listened to my husband's change of attitude as he put the bows on top of the gifts he wrapped.
These, and many more, were better sounds to my ears than the Christmas carols coming from the speakers. It IS a beautiful thing, to listen to what's going on instead of being consumed by it.

Thank you for sharing your experience. You're one of a kind.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Mad Munkey said...

The interesting thing, is that it's still going on in my mind. I'm still replaying that box opening and the reaction I heard. I'm still smiling about it and the joy of having given is still with me. I couldn't put a price on this for any reason. It's such a wonderful feeling.


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