Holiday Cheer: DIY

Christmas_Ornaments_2013_Homemade_Diy_Xmas_Ornaments_Crafts_and_Designs-10No one gets a writer like writer’s get a writer.

You see, we think much differently than most folks. We narrate our interactions in our heads, we make you into interesting caricatures of your own selves while you talk to us and generally, get lost in our own, wild and wonderful imaginations.

We need to pick one another’s brains once in a while to figure out this crazy ride of life.

Having just posted a social media countdown to retirement from a tenured media career, a bourbon swilling pal of mine has chosen his urban nest, and it suits him well.

I, on the other hand, am trying to understand the ’40 is the new 30′ bullshit that hipsters are trying to prove with bacteria infested beards and Ginsbergesque eyewear.

We debated my soon-to-be empty-nester situation. Do I make a move to the serenity of the country, or do I plan to live in the beauty of a vibrant city with a twenty-four hour buzz?

To arrive for our rendez-vous, I drove from my job in the land of blue and white Hanukkah decorations, into the heart of the city’s fashion district with bright lights and Christmas trees lit in every window, to the throbbing centre where cultures of the world gather on the same doorstep.

As we sat in a grand hall we reminisced about our visits to Musee D’Orsay. We gulped our  wine and listened to a string quartet play Debussy’s, Claire De Lune and Carlos Gardel’s, Tango Por Una Cabeza.

Life can be so diffult when one has friends who can get together for an impromptu string quartet, gourmand nibbles (amuse-bouche gingerbread rounds the size of a quarter topped with chicken liver pate and figs) and intellectual contemplation of what’s next.

In order to move forward, one must step back, so we played, ‘year in review’. In other words, we looked at what a torrid shitshow my love life has been up to this moment in time. We also looked at what a torrid shitshow most people’s love lives are, but guilded with a very thin layer of, it’s-ok-because-we’re-too-scared-to-go-after-what-we-really-want.

Which brought us to the magic of life.  Which, essentially, fades away like the weird and surprisingly wonderful aftertaste of chicken liver pate atop gingersnaps with figs.

In order to take a bite out of life, you have to be continually open to tasting whatever happens to be on the menu that day instead of ordering the same old thing.

The magic fades, and we get stuck in a rut. It fades away, but it doesn’t completely die. There is always a small spark, sputtering somewhere. You just have to have faith that when you exhale, your breath will give the spark enough oxygen to come to life again.

At this age and stage, there is no breathtaking excitement about first kisses, cars, loves, homes or jobs. We’ve been there. Done it. Done it wrong. Done it right, and then realized that there is no wrong or right. There is simply doing one’s best.

So this Christmas, if you feel the magic has died, you must take it upon yourself to create your own magic and your own joy.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Take a few risks and put yourself out there. Make time to have conversations with people who are older than you, younger than you, educated differently, from different cultures and faith groups.

As the two of us writers discussed our ages and stages, we contemplated just how very well we would do touring the pubs in Dublin and our favourite writing haunts in Paris. I plotted my holidays and timing and wondered just what adventure, near or far, might remind me that the world is still a place of wonder and inspiration.

There is still magic out there to be found in this living beyond your youth and innocent mystery. You just have to nurture that tiny spark so you can feel even more deeply the joy, love and hope you did when the world was fresh and unfolding in front of you for the first time.

You have to be willing to pop that little morsel of ungodly flavours in your mouth and see how you like it. As every Grandmother since the dawn of time has said, “You won’t know if you like it unless you try it.”

This Christmas, if you feel there is no more magic left, you must create it yourself. You must venture into the wilderness of the unknown. You must  do it yourself.

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