“I want to know everything about you, so I tell you everything about myself.”
– Amy Hempel
Until I realized that almost no one read it (see recent WSJ article Bring on the Holiday Letters), I used to write and send out a Christmas poem every year, and I (rather) miss* doing it.
So, inspired by the Journal author’s words that holiday letters (for me, poems) have a of “seasonal warmth,” and her reminders that they
“…bring us together in a way that our relentless digital connections cannot…represent tradition in a world that discards traditions too quickly…and they require real effort and thought: Somebody took the time to write them.” (emphasis mine)
…here’s my latest:The kids are all grown; the house, empty, almost – No more lunches to make, no more bagels to toast. They’re all doing their thing; my job raising them’s done – And for me and my husband, the fun’s just begun. Around les enfants, my world used to revolve. When ma fille was twelve, I found a nouvelle resolve: I sat down to write books, and I ceased to write verse For my “holiday letter” – of it, I would disperse. “Who would miss it?” I thought. Just a relative** few. All the others would not; from them, I took my cue. So I focused my brain on a lofty ambition: “Why not write a whole novel?” That was my admonition. “You can do it!” I said to myself. “You have time; For a break, you can always come up with a rhyme. When you hear and see things, you are constantly thinking: ‘That would be a good scene! Or way, with them, for linking.’ “Yes, I know it takes months – sometimes YEARS – but, once finished, You can start a new project, no right-brain cells diminished. And then, hopefully, readers will love what you’ve written. Those at home, and in places like France and Great Britain!” So, not knowing if I would succeed or would fail, I began to create, it became my travail. It’s ‘ton boulot,’ a French friend expressed, when I asked. (That means ‘job.’) And with that, it’s what I am self-tasked. Au même temps, I chose, fluency, to re-attain in French, la langue stored somewhere inside of my brain. I commenced with a course that I’m still taking now And I’ve risen in level, and at times, I know how To think en français; it occurs more and more When I don’t think about it – then, my “puzzler” gets sore. I have much more to learn, and to write. But I’m glad That two books, I have published, and that they can be had On your tablet or, if you’re old-fashioned, in hand. You can give them as gifts, put them on your nightstand. I am writing “Book Three” – it will be out next year; And to you, I wish holidays full of good cheer! * I just like to