I used to love the Holidays more than any time of year. The moment the air felt like fall, visions of pumpkin pie would dance in my head; leaves brilliant with colors falling like petals from a sky scented with elm and oak fires burning in warm homes filled with family. Halloween was the opening act for Thanksgiving, and the day after Thanksgiving, the search for The Tree would begin.
For years, I labored selfishly under the assumption that my own family; my children and my wife, felt the same, that they looked forward with the same hope and anticipation as I. I assumed that the traditions of both our families –my wife’s and mine- would carry over to ours, taking from both, and creating our own Holiday traditions; sacred recipes long-held secret, taken out only once a year and placed on the table with the reverence of sacraments. Ornaments from generations before, each with a memory and a story attached, unwrapped as if rare jewels, and hung side-by-side with clay and felt decorations made in kindergarten.
For two months, hope, tradition, and promise were side-by-side with cornbread dressing and family. I would begin and end each day praying that our sons and daughter would carry the traditions forward, and into the folds of their own families in years to come.
I know now that nothing of what I’d hoped was ever present in them; that they did not share the same sense of spirit and tradition that I did. I know now that by devoting myself –for even two months- to the trappings of the past and the bindings of family, that I was forcing my own Holiday culture of what I believed a family should be on them; I know now that “I was the only one of us that cared about the Holidays; that everyone went through the motions just to please me.”
I know now that I was wrong about all of it, and that I may have tarnished whatever good they may have had in their hearts once, or ever would, for these two days, for this season.
And so, this year, I will not celebrate. I will not awaken with carols on the radio, or rejoice at the sight of a pan of dressing. I will not fly through the mall searching for the one gift I know will please, nor ply through the rows of fir and spruce and pine for the tree that would be our Center. I will not lie awake in the days and weeks before, barely able to contain my anticipation.
This year, I will hold it all in my own heart, and keep my own counsel. I will not harden my children’s hearts with my own selfishness over traditions, hopes, dreams and… two days in a season that only matter to me. This year, I will hope and I will pray; for peace on earth, and for forgiveness for an old man who was too blind to see, too deaf to hear, and lost in his own way.
Client: We need you to make a full shoot schedule for this project.
Me: But we don’t have scripts, and nothing has been approved. What am I scheduling?
Client: You’re scheduling the shoot day and the scene break downs.
Me: But there are no scripts and nothing has been approved. I don’t know what you want to see scheduled.
Client: Well, I can’t write the script if I don’t know what days we are shooting on and what locations we could use.
Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.
—Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (via bookmania)
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
—Sun Tzu, The Art of War (via bookmania)
They found me