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It Came Upon a Midnight Clear….

hopeIt’s one of those songs that makes your heart ache a little, in a good way, during this time of year.

Epiphanies come when our minds are clear.  For me, they’ve often been before a turning point in my life or during sheer exhaustion—in the middle of a before and after kind of event.

You know those clarity moments—your whole body feels it.  Every time it happens, you wonder why you’ve not “seen” life this way before.  Why you were so upset over this or that.  Those moments aren’t just mental, emotional or spiritual.  A million tingles flood over you, your shoulders relax and you exhale, as if you’ve been carrying this BIG thing and you didn’t know how big it was until you LET. IT. GO.  It’s that whole mind/body/spirit connection that decades from now, physicians and patients will marvel that we didn’t make sure all three were in tune.

The air in and around you feels calm, serene and you think to yourself, God’s here or Everything is Going to Be Okay or whatever that voice within you tells youIt’s awareness.  Awe.

It’s kind of like magic, childlike.  Like when you believed in Santa or anything and everything is possible.  Before that adult way of thinking clouded up your mind making you believe that there weren’t miracles.  But there are—we just have to open ourselves up to them.  They are happening all the time.

Maybe I’m Reading Way Too Much Into This…

This time, nearly a year ago, after I’d picked up the pieces of Hurricane Sandy in New York, after I’d arrived home from being displaced after that and getting on an airplane that took me to Tennessee to look after my Daddy who later died and I was driving my faded-red Honda to a storage unit to pick up some shit to move because my husband’s job required us to do that, I thought to myself as I was driving in ragged Island Park, Long Island New York, I’M GOING TO LOSE IT.

I did, lose it—sort of.

I cannot handle this, I thought to myself.  My breath became shallow.  My ears filled with white noise.  I felt as if I was looking at myself from below.  I wasn’t in the car.  I was observing myself, this was happening to someone else.  Know what I mean?

I pulled into a strip mall, some of the stores were open, others still not.  Maybe some of them never opened back up.

Weeks before, boats had been strewn across the streets.  The National Guard had been there, with guns and a surreal-like state of things going wrong.   We’d lived in a place where officials had to check your ID in order for you to get on and off the island.  Helicopters spotlighted homes at night to make sure all those darkened homes and the people inside them were okay.

And we were leaving it all—this disarray to go somewhere else.  I thought I’d be relieved, but I wasn’t.  I was panicked because I thought: I cannot handle this.

I sat in my car in front of one those open businesses, Subway.  Panicking, crying, trying to cover up all that as people walked by to go in and get their sandwiches.  I needed something to distract me.  I needed a paper bag to breath into.  I turned on the radio and heard:

She’s got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain.

And I just cried, a big huge ugly cry before I went into Subway and ordered sandwiches. I felt as if my Dad was there, telling me it was going to be okay.  He had such blue eyes.  I have blue eyes.

The way he’d told me throughout my life, through all my moves, changes and ups and downs, many of which he’d been witness to, moving my shit here and there.  He’d done that many times for me and he’d always tell me, “Brig, everything is gong to be alright.”  That Guns and Roses song (one he always liked) happened to be on just when I needed something, anything, to make me feel okay.

I ordered the sandwiches for hubby and me and went home and then cried more when I arrived.  Hubby, being who he is, assured me, Yes, that was your Dad, Honey. 

Coincidence?  Little miracle?  Who knows.  Whatever it was, it gave me some clarity, some peace amongst all that chaos.

And Then There’s The Holidays

We went home for Thanksgiving.  The day after we arrived hubby and I drove our Mom to my Dad’s headstone.  I wanted to see it.  She tucked poinsettias into the vases on either side of his headstone.

On the way back, my Mom pointed out a massive tree.  She said that on their first date, Daddy asked her if he could stop the car and kiss her, underneath that tree.  She said yes.  Even now that road doesn’t have that much traffic, but I didn’t know, until she pointed it out, that that tree, which I’d probably driven past numerous times growing up in my tiny town, that’s where my parents first kissed, fell in love.

Maybe that tree, if it hadn’t been there on that night, I wouldn’t be.  It’s a massive tree and I bet many people have stopped and kissed there.  And probably more will do that same thing, kiss, fall in love, make babies and life goes on and on and on. That’s kind of a miracle, I think.

Here’s the Thing

Many of us go home for the holidays.  We put our best selves forward.  Much like we do here in the blogging world. Here’s the thing:  We gravitate towards those who we believe get us, understand us, and love us for exactly who we are.

I can write badly or write something of substance and there will always be those people who comment or like what I write.  The older I get and the more I write, the more I realize how I need to choose my words wisely.  As much as I think I’ve been through “rough” times, there is always someone who is going through the same.  Or worse.

And then I think of those words — It came upon a midnight clear – whatever time of year it is—those moments are precious, when your mind is clear.  Whatever you’re going through, especially during the holidays, there is really something else, some greatness, which has your back.

Always.

Merry Christmas everyone and here’s to a stunning and bright New Year.  See you in 2014.

Much love,
Brigitte

ADDENDUM: The picture you see within this blog and the one that introduces it is from a sweet and wonderful human being.  She’s uber talented and compassionate.  Most of you who follow me, follow her.  Thanks A.

ANOTHER ADDENDUM:  Since we weren’t able to be with our extended families during Christmas, hubby and I have been doing massive amounts of reading and going to the movies.

Two books I’ve read and recommend:

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg (fiction about a family, excellent writing, you’ll fly through this one.)

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belford (nonfiction—it’ll make you realize how great it is to be NORMAL.).

MOVIESAnchorman 2:  Just as stupid humor as the first one but sometimes you need to just laugh out loud at nonsense.

American Hustle:  Good, but doesn’t pick up until the last 45 minutes of the movie.  The soundtrack is EXCELLENT.

What I’m reading now:  Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan (fiction, excellent writing).

The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison (fiction, the psychological differences between husband and wife…great writing with a kind of “scary” twist.)

And some music that has nothing to do with Christmas, but was in Anchorman 2 and if you listen, you’ll wish you were on some tropical island or somewhere warm.

About Brigitte

Writer/Editor/Wanderer

Discussion

23 thoughts on “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear….

  1. Thank you for this.

    Wishing you joy.

    ~~Addie

    Posted by Addie | December 24, 2013, 11:34 pm
  2. Hey Lady. I love the story about the tree and first kiss. Stories that are locked up and then shared .. To think of your folks as young and as “people”.
    And I agree, there is something greater out there. And one of the gifts of this greatness is kind, caring and genuine friendship.
    Your weird friend. ( smile… Glad I caught it before you edited- cause you made me laugh)
    Merry Christmas and yes, a grand 2014!!

    Posted by unfetteredbs | December 25, 2013, 5:49 am
  3. Ps. I was wondering about The Silent Wife. I’m reading ” How to be a Good Wife” a debut novel– supposed to be a psychological thriller.

    Posted by unfetteredbs | December 25, 2013, 5:52 am
  4. Epiphanies to you, everything you say is true.

    Posted by Jordan River | December 25, 2013, 1:56 pm
  5. I wish I could be more open about being open to the universe’s messages. Does that make sense? I think I’m trying to say I understand exactly what you mean about those epiphany moments and that I’d like to have more of them in my life.

    My husband and I are enjoying a quiet Christmas this year, and I’m trying to center myself to start 2014 with a calm and positive outlook. We’ll see how long I can maintain it. ;)

    Posted by jmmcdowell | December 25, 2013, 3:28 pm
    • That makes perfect sense to me. I do too and try my best. Hubby and I had the same kind of day, JM and it was wonderful. Thanks for stopping in and I wish you and yours a wonderful New Year.

      And you and I sound as if we are on the same wavelength as far as embracing the New Year. All we can do is make a concerted effort to stay positive and I think the rest will take care of itself.

      >

      Posted by Brigitte | December 25, 2013, 8:28 pm
  6. Merry Christmas and Happy 2014 Brigitte. Wonderful blog and very appropriate for Christmas. I’ve had a few of your moments in life when all I wanted to do was run and hide– which I have done several times into the wilderness where I have found peace and perspective. Maybe the two got together. –Curt

    Posted by Curt Mekemson | December 25, 2013, 3:51 pm
    • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! Thank you, Curt. There is most definitely something to getting out in nature that can bring on those moments. And peace and perspective sounds about as prefect as it gets.

      >

      Posted by Brigitte | December 25, 2013, 8:31 pm
  7. Here’s to a wonderful 2014!! I do love movies and am looking forward to seeing a couple this week so thanks for the reviews! :)

    Posted by brickhousechick | December 25, 2013, 10:46 pm
  8. Brigitte–so often you mention that we put our best selves forward in our blogs–I think you put your authetic self forward which is to my mind your best self–I love your blog, your writing, your honesty and your sincerity and every blog you write is a treat for me,though sometimes my heart aches for you–my friend, 2014 is going to be good to both of us–Happy New Year! love Lou

    Posted by on thehomefrontandbeyond | December 28, 2013, 10:24 am
    • Lou, thank you. I try, I really do. I do the same for you. Whether you know it or not, I know from your beautiful words, what you are going through. It’s nice to have someone that sees between the lines — thank you. And I’m with you, 2014 is going to be wonderful. How are you?? xxoo

      Posted by Brigitte | December 28, 2013, 8:52 pm
  9. I saved the email notification for this blog and read it today. And I needed this today. I do believe in miracles and I do believe that was your (rockin’) Dad paying you a visit. You have had a rough one Brig and I hope 2014 is much calmer for you.

    I saw Wolf of Wall St. last night and it is sooooo good! And yes, it made me feel much better about my silly little life. His drug use was exhausting just to watch. I’m finally reading the Book Thief just in time for the movie to leave the theaters.

    Happy new year!
    xoxo maggie

    Posted by Maggie O'C | December 30, 2013, 12:45 pm
    • Hey Mags–how are you?? Thank you and I think you and I view many things in life very similarly. We also saw Wolf of Wall Street. WOWSA. I think one of the reviewers on CBS Sunday Morning summed it up this way: It was three hours of horrible people doing horrible things. Yep, that was it. ;). And yeah, that whole drug thing was exhausting. You should read the book — there’s even more debauchery in it. Seriously, makes me love my “normal” life a lot.

      What is this — the Book Thief? I’ll have to check it out.

      Hope you and yours are wonderful and Happy New Year!

      love ya, Brigitte

      Posted by Brigitte | December 30, 2013, 3:13 pm
  10. Passing by with a few hours left to ring in a brand New Year, I found your post thought-provoking.And so I stopped…..

    You speak of “letting go”. Though our ego may tell us otherwise, do we really have a choice? Or the power to hold on? Can we cling on to this past year even when the clock tolls midnight soon to herald in a brand new 2014? The truth is that “letting go” is natural and needs to be done when an aspect in our life no longer serves the purpose for which it came in, in the first place. We gain the strength and conviction to ” let go’. To me this is a heightened sense of awareness which we need to aspire for.

    Happy New Year, Have fun and continue to be amazing.

    Shakti

    Posted by Shakti Ghosal | December 31, 2013, 3:47 am
    • Hi Shaki, So nice to see you here again. I understand what you are saying. Often we try to rush these processes, but you are right. Everything within the right time and the time is right when our mind/body/spirit tells us that. Thank you and I hope you and yours have a blessed and wonderful New Year!

      Posted by Brigitte | December 31, 2013, 11:03 am
  11. Genesis’ “Follow You, Follow Me” has, for 13 years, come on just when I needed my father. I’m convinced he has something to do with it. When I am no longer on this earth, bet your sweet cheeks I’ll send my girls messages through their radios, too.

    Beautiful piece.

    Posted by Eli Pacheco | January 2, 2014, 2:48 pm
    • Hi Eli and welcome! I love that Genesis song. Thank you for your lovely comment and I hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year.

      Posted by Brigitte | January 4, 2014, 6:20 pm

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