Fell asleep on the couch last night. Woke up and the room was lit only by the quiet, multicolored glow of the Christmas lights on the mantel.
Those close to me know I'm not a big fan of Christmas. If Ebeneezer Scrooge and the Grinch had a love child, I'd be it.
Christmas lights, though – those I love. There is something human and hopeful and solid about them. As the days grow shortest, we light whatever faint lamps we can muster against the night. We refuse to let darkness descend completely. Come Solstice, the night gives up and begins to recede.
I recently discovered the work of Jenny Lawson, author of Let's Pretend this Never Happened and Furiously Happy. She's a woman with a wicked sense of humor, a history of mental health issues, and the bravery to write about the most horrifying and embarrassing moments in her life. The things she might have wished had “never happened.”
She has a handful of letters she keeps from readers who wrote her to say they felt suicidal, but read her words and no longer felt alone. That knowledge gave them strength to keep going. It's only a few, but even one is enough.
When Lawson wrote, she was lighting a lamp in the darkness for someone who needed it. When we write, we may be doing the same. We might never know if or who, but we can have faith that we need to put it out there.
So keep writing. Your stories matter. Your words are a gift to the world.
With that, I wish you happy holidays, whichever ones you celebrate. May the new year bring you blessings.