Thank you, Richard Armitage, for this

— for another letter to your fans, and for another uplifting message. For thinking of us, and for encouraging us to think not only of ourselves, but of others and of doing things for and with them. :}

— also, thank you for introducing me to this quote from Checkov’s Uncle Vanya:
“What can we do? We must live out our lives….we shall live, Uncle Vanya. We shall live all through the endless procession of days ahead of us, and through the long evenings. We shall bear patiently the burdens that fate imposes on us. We shall work without rest for others, both now and when we are old. And when our final hour comes, we shall meet it humbly…. we shall enter on a bright and beautiful life. We shall rejoice… A tender smile — and — we shall rest. We shall hear the angels. We shall see heaven shining like a jewel. We shall see evil and all our pain disappear in the great pity that shall enfold the world. Our life will be as peaceful and gentle and sweet as a caress. I have faith…we shall rest.”

Heaven shining like a jewel. The great pity that shall enfold the world. A life peaceful, gentle, and sweet as a caress. And finally, the ultimate blessing and promise: the hope of rest. What a beautiful passage. It made me think of this, my all-time favorite line from Tolkien, which has always, from the age of 7, made me cry every time I read it (or watch Ian McKellen say it!):

“The journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain curtain of this world rolls back and all turns to silver glass. And then you see it. White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.” – Gandalf, to Pippin

Beautiful thoughts as we round the corner of the year into the holiday season. The holidays are always a rather bittersweet time for me; they’re not only for celebrating, but also for remembering, and a bit for storing up memories against future days when loved ones won’t be near. So as you gather with others, or as you take a moment in silence for yourself, think for a moment of your blessings, and send some love and hope to those who aren’t similarly blessed. I wrote a Christmas blessing to Arkenstone, and I like it so much that I’m going to make it my holiday wish for everyone:

“May all the best of what you desire, what you need, and what you are afraid to even admit you long for come to you this year, in the proportions that are best for you. May your home and your heart be filled with health, love, and joy, and may you be surrounded by friends and family who adore and respect you. May you come to sense the Oneness of all and the importance of your place in that wholeness, and may you know utterly that you are cherished and nourished by all that is.”

And because I’m such a sci-fi nerd, I have to finish it with the response from Battlestar Galactica: “So say we all.”

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