Those Christmas gifts. Who am I to have this. All of this? Those Christmas gifts.

Boxing day. The inner battles.

On a day when many were returning their gifts for something that seemed to fit them better….I went to bed reading one of the last pieces that John Updike wrote for publication in his life. About the process of writing. With an atypical use of language. The Best American Essays 2009. Edited by Mary Oliver.

The desire to do great things. Mary Oliver, the poet. The Gregory Orr piece, in this collection. Return to Hayneville.The Best American Essays 2009.

My uncle Frank. His December 23rd heart attack. The Orr piece was about a real time in his life. He had gone, just as Gregory Orr, to the American South. About 1963. It could have been him in the story (linked below). Only he was not arrested and held by police.

Uncle Frank. And his phone call today to his sister on Boxing Day. About the inner battles over the desires to do great things. The family stress. About whether he was traveling in January. To Ireland. On a day where there was a terrible ice storm in Ireland, he had figured out that he too could go nowhere. Like the Irish he would be homebound for a while. His call to his sister asked about a Christmas party he had missed today. When his brothers, sisters, nieces and nephew found out that they were not included on this journey, and who was mad at whom that they were not invited.

After your dad died, it might be
normal to be angry. When your mother took on a new role. Frank still had a few issues. With his siblings. I was to have been with him in Ireland for one week, in January. Depending on his recovery. His new defibulator was working to record his inner struggle, like some kind of seismograph.

The desire to do great things. and the “how.” Those inner battles.

About the desire to do great things. A classmate named Jorge. After recovery. And the “how.” To go on. The practicality of the inner battles. After two failed recoveries. His high profile failed business, leading the news on December 23rd. In my town.

In half the world, over shadowed by the Christian holiday Christmas, officially summer seemingly began this week. In her poem, “A Summer’s Day,” Mary Oliver states the question: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

The billions of dollars saved by corporations annually from gift cards and gift certificates that expire unredeemed. The sort of thinking that motivates me to put the gift card away in the drawer, expecting to find the right item more in the future. A lot like my first love, Connie K_____. Time, like it would all fit better soon. The gift of love, not on a card, but still when I had the time. When she would fit better. The inner battles. I had lost that one.

Boxing day. And that manger. The smells that surrounded the manger, of the wickedness of the animal world. The smell everywhere. There was no way the parents could rid the manger of the animals smells. A good things there were not gift cards, in those days. When the manger might fit better, with a proper timing. When it would fit better, when people, when I, found the time. Or when the world might seem to smell better.

“What are you gonna do with your one precision life?” Boxing day. The inner battles. About proper fits. And proper smells. In transition. I discovered the book The Blessing by Gregory Orr in my bookcase, further explaining a real time in his life. Looking for understanding, about proper fits in these times.

At year’s end, I was in a sense in recovery. Deciding where I would go. With my work.

Boxing Day. The inner battles, wen you can have anything. Boxing Day really had no affect on the use of gift cards? Or did it?

With time as a factor, those Christmas gifts. Boxing Day and those Christmas gifts, and what fit me. Deciding what I would do next, with my work. With an atypical use of gift cards, as if there was no deadline.

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