December 20, 2011

Three Nights of Jollification

On Friday night, I went out to the Conklin Barn for a poetic winter celebration. After a few announcements were made, the fun kicked off with the poets splitting up into five groups (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Center). Each group was given a few minutes to write a series of couplets that would capture the essence of their season. I ended up in the Spring group. If I remember correctly, we came up with something close to this:

New thoughts for the coming dawn
Crocuses break though ground in thaw

Robins sing on blossoming limbs
To fill the day with sacred hymns

Kingdom of a pastel morn
Our souls, our hearts, our lives reborn


Next, the lights were dimmed and the hostess of the evening took us on a journey in our imaginations through a path in the woods to a cottage. Inside the cottage, we sat beside a fireplace where we were to encounter a guiding creature that would give us a message. After the lights were turned back on, we went around the room with each person sharing what he or she had experienced. The creature that I met was a purple giraffe with eagle wings and an ethereal aura; his message to me was "Be creative and always dare to dream."

Each poet was then asked to place a poem on the floor in the center of the room and take out a different one. Once again, we went around the room reading each others works. It was very cool. After the event was over, several of the poets broke into some Christmas carols in the parking lot. We actually sounded really good. :)

On Saturday night, I went out to a work Christmas party at the Three Village Inn in Stony Brook. It's a ritzy restaurant that features a buffet line of some delicious foods--baked ziti, tomato/mozzerella salad, paella, a carving platter for roast turkey and ham, etc. After a wonderful meal and some stimulating conversation, the evening turned into about 4 hours of nonstop dancing and singing along with every song. Disco. Oldies. Latin. Pop. Hip Hop. There was a little bit of everything and it was a complete blast!

I left the Three Village Inn a little after 11:00PM, but the night wasn't quite over yet. I stopped off at another Christmas party that I had been invited to at Napper Tandy's Irish Pub in Northport. More music. More dancing. More singing. By the time I finally got home at about 1:30AM, my ears were ringing, my knees were aching, my voice was gravel, and I couldn't stop smiling. What a great, festive night!

On Sunday, I went out to my 4th holiday celebration in three nights. This time, it was the annual Pomes Christmas Caroling Party. Donning Santa hats and mittens and armed with acoustic guitars, sleigh bells, and flashlights, we strolled the streets of the neighborhood filling the evening air with song. After singing "O Holy Night" for one neighbor, she tearfully replied, "That is my favorite Christmas song. I lost a dear friend today and this is the best gift I could have gotten!" Such is the heartwarming magic of the Christmas season.

Back in the warmth of the house, the party continued with an amazing spread of food and more songs at the piano. Christmas Caroling seems to have become somewhat of a lost tradition, though I am so glad that I get the chance to do it every year. This party has become an important part of my holiday season and it is always very joyous! Cheers!!!

"That my glory may sing your praise
and not be silent. O Lord my God,
I will give thanks to you forever!"

~Psalm 30:12