The Tao of Christmas Lights


My writing takes me on some strange journeys and feeds me weird food.  Example:  today’s lunch of a banana and Triscuits – because I don’t want to be away from my keyboard long enough to make a proper lunch. 

Strange journey: from Reiki, to the movie “P.S. I Love you” to Taoism to a blog entitled, “The Tao of Christmas Lights.”

Get a snack (may I suggest Triscuits?), a drink, get comfortable – this might take awhile.

A few years back, I turned to Reiki during a time of great conflict and misery in my life. I was depressed and in a state of disrepair and despair.  It was Reiki or Prozac and I was very afraid the Prozac wouldn’t work this time.  I knew someone who practiced Reiki and knew there was little to lose.

To this day, I don’t understand how Reiki works.  I would get my Reiki Master to explain but he’s no longer speaking to me – an even longer, weirder story.

My Reiki Master was also a “life coach.”  We worked on my chakras and my attitude simultaneously.  Reiki had an almost instantly beneficial effect on me.  Way better than Prozac.  In retrospect though, I think my Reiki Master was a bit unorthodox.  Take, for example, his insistence that I watch a particular movie.  Alone.

As instructed, I rented “P.S. I Love You,” and watched it alone. I get why he wanted me to watch it alone -the torrent of tears that ensued was like nothing I’ve produced before or since.  I made my best friend watch it with me a second time.  She is a tough cookie, that one.  Her torrent of tears rivalled mine (maybe she needed some Reiki). I dutifully reported to Reiki Master that I’d seen the movie but didn’t tell him that I didn’t understand why.  He never asked; I never told.

Three years have passed. The movie was on TV this weekend, so I watched it.  Again, a torrent of tears ensued.  Worse, I still don’t understand what Reiki Master was trying to communicate to me through Hilary Swank’s romantic-comedic saga of life after her Irish husband dies.  Was it the shoes? Am I supposed to go to Ireland? 

Still puzzling this morning, I let my mind wander.  I thought about how much Reiki helped me and about how Reiki Master opened my mind to all things mystical and metaphysical.  Musing about meditation and focus, my brain leapt to Taoism.  I briefly contemplated writing a blog entitled, “The Tao of P.S. I Love You.”  Instead, I Googled “Taoism” and stumbled across something called, “The Tao of Pooh” which led me to a website called; it was there I encountered a principle of Taoism called P’U or The Uncarved Block

  More Triscuits anyone?  Vodka perhaps?

The principle of P’U or the Uncarved Block: “things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power.”  And: “When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.” The website maintains that this tenet applies to not only stuffed bears but also to humans.  

And now, here we are at “The Tao of Christmas Lights.”

I experience irrational joy at the sight of Christmas lights.  I go from age 50 to age 5 in a nanosecond.  I jump up and down, clap my hands, and spin around with glee.  Even while driving.  Nothing cheers me like the sight of houses decked out with strands of lights or trees swathed in faerie lights.

On a calm winter’s night, the streetscape twinkling in holiday cheer, I again believe in the magic of Christmas.  My cold cynical shell melts away revealing a happy child standing in the snow. Why do those lights have this effect on me? Who cares?  Colourful lights brightening the winter landscape make me happy.  Simple, without arrogance or artifice.  Life is fun (and pretty – at least between the end of November and the end of January).

A weird journey indeed.  Worth every step…except maybe the Triscuits…


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