My eyelids are droopy but words still insist on escaping via my fingertips. I probably drive many mad with my emails, always sharing what’s wandering through my head, but I can’t – or don’t want to – help myself.

I have four days off for the Christmas holiday, and ironically, nowhere to go and no one to see. My heart wanders back and forth between stoicism and utter mushiness. I try to be all tough, saying that I’m okay with spending this holiday alone. This holiday that has been hammered into the subconscious since birth where being alone means the ultimate loneliness.

I miss my sister when she was sober. I miss lying around on her sofas watching movies and eatin’ macaroni on Sauvie Island, looking out at the water, away from the real world and feeling soft and comfortable.

I miss waking up hearing the waves in my ears, knowing there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Ironically, I don’t have any tremendous sensation of losing family. Both sides were flowing in materialism, where the significance of the day revolves around gifts rather than togetherness. I guess I just don’t want to be without warmth on that day. It’s not about the family, it’s about the love you feel from those you are around. I think that’s why Solstice means so much to me – it’s all about having my favorite people near me, feelin’ safe and feelin’ the love.

Solstice has meant so many combinations of friends. First one in Seattle was during my newspaper gig, in one sexy apartment overlooking the Needle on Thomas Street. Cocktails stirred, friends abounded, a wee bit of food. I got married the next year and so pure was I, that I didn’t understand why the alcohol kept disappearing. Good fortune allowed me to deal with the devastation I felt during those years and restart my life. Good fortune allowed me to somehow survive last year’s loss of my father. Good fortune has brought me back into the land of the employed so that my sanctuary remains afloat. And good fortune has left me with beautiful friends and beautiful experiences each day.

But still I feel sadness, still feel melancholy, still wonder when the pain will subside for good. But they say it never goes away. May I find a strong shoulder, an open heart, a soft touch, a beautiful mind.

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ~Ray Bradbury


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