This seems to be a season of some dark forces moving again the people I know and love.  Cousins and uncles in dire straights.  Marriages dimming and growing fainter. And yet, and yet. Just like the dusk is lingering a bit longer in the night sky, the week has held some moments of quiet satisfaction, even joy.  Even silliness.

So strange how the human-ness of life has the paradox of joy and sorrow coexisting.  Being in the moment where you practice holding one for its fleeting instant.  December brought some gobsmacking news that I’m not yet able to properly consider in writing. That may happen in February.

Last week, Jan. 25, was Robbie Burns birthday. Born in 1759 he was a Scottish poet and lyricist widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. Scots (and others) celebrate his day with feasts and festivities.  Here in Portland, our Robbie Burns night features a pub sing and the toasting of the Lasses (and Laddies). I’m typically in charge of the Toast to the Lads so here it is in all its silly, doggerel glory.

Lads, lads sit down
As we lasses gather
To sing your praise round
We won’t stray into blather

Since you’ve been wee lads
The world’s been your oyster
You’ve run out and run wild
Not confined to a cloister

Then as you’ve grown,
You’ve taken on traits
Some that are kind
Some rude, some just okay

Wild youth to maturity
You’ve passed through the years
Swingle single to dad
Fast action to quiet beers

Searching for meaning,
For your life’s goals
For love and good friendship
To find your own road

Finally in your dotage
Your energy spent
Your mind (and libido)
Have gone up and went

But ah we still love you
In all of our states
We will traipse by your side
Where life’s path may dictate.

Ladies arise let us toast our good men.

I have vowed to find something joyful in each day and make a note of it on my calendar so when I look back on a day or a month, I can see joy accumulate, to weigh out the sorrows.


It's a grey look for a grey month.

It’s a grey look for a grey month. Except for the purple hat and shoes.