Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Soft, Protected Place

I'm sitting here in a Christmas fog. Or a kind of sugary, candy-cane kind of stupor. I'm okay, but not quite right.

I know I miss communicating with everyone, but I'm at a loss. Where is Jimmy Stewart and It's a Wonderful Life when you're in need? He (and that movie) can always set me straight, somehow. Thank goodness for the annual refresher. But I haven't seen it yet.

So here are some odds and ends instead . . .

First, I just enjoyed a thoroughly wonderful interview with Jenny Milchman on Murder, She Writes. Look for he 12/21 interview with an Emerging Author. Jenny, your clarity punched holes through my Christmas fog. You were brilliant. And I loved hearing my name on air. What can I say? I'm an easy schmooze.

It's been kind of a rough week.

First, I'm missing my mom. She always gave me a way to both take a hard look at myself and give me a soft place to land. That's what moms do. Christmas was one of those times when Mom would just pull out all of the stops to show us how much she loved us. Her love language was service. I will always remember her cleaning my bedroom when I was sick. And man, no one could put the presents under the tree better than my mom.

I love you, Shirley Jean.

I found out last week that my dad might have something ooky going on with one of his lungs. He needs an MRI. It's scheduled for Thursday. The magic day. Christmas Eve. All I can say is it better be good news. Because I sort of think Christmas Eve and I have had an agreement for the last 55 years. Best not to blow it now.

The past couple of days also brought some difficult news for my sister. What I know about her is that she has the strength to come out of it. She's that kind of strong. But that doesn't stop me for wishing I could wave a magic wand and make everything right.

So here. This is it. This is what's important for all of us to remember.

Let yourself fall into that soft place. The place that only a few people (and God) have access to. Feel it. Love it. Recognize how precious it is. Not too many people on this planet share the luxury of even acknowledging such a vulnerable state of mind.

Because it's who you are. It's the Real Deal. And it's what makes you special.

Without empathy, our world is meaningless. Without creativity, it becomes gray. Use that soft place that is uniquely you to create words on a page no one else could write.

Your spirit is unique among all others. Let it shine. Don't worry about whether or not it's perfect (there are plenty of folks out there who can help you get it there). Strive for authenticity. Let the thing that makes you different from anyone else emerge. It's okay. It really is.

It's you. And that's what makes what you write, or create, or sell, or manage, or teach, or whatever you do every day, special.

CR: I was trying to read a true crime book, but it got to the point where I was forcing myself to read it. So, I'm now reading Chasing Darkness by Robert Crais and so excited to be involved in a story again.

It's all better with friends.


  1. Merry Christmas Peg. I really liked this article, especially from: "Let yourself fall ..." onwards. I've copied and pasted it and will hang it up in front of me as I write.


  2. P S Thanks for all the stuff on Kindle by the way. I did read it. It was appreciated.


  3. Sorry about the worrisome things at Christmas, Peg. We know whereof you speak because we've had quite a few this past year. But it's good you have the "soft place" that Christ gives us. (T.S. Eliot calls it "the still point of the turning world.") You and yours have our prayers. Merry Christmas in spite of the world.

  4. "The still point of the turning world." I like that.

    Thanks, Donn. I treasure the support you've shown me.

    Merry Christmas.

  5. Peg - hope everything's okay with your dad. Sending good thoughts.