(written on December, 23, 2014)
I don’t share religious views on social media as I don’t share who I vote for, or other personal items. Whatever personal content I share is for entertainment purposes only, like goblins and gnomes.
Today, however, I will share perhaps one of the only items that I still hang on to in my journey towards extreme minimalism. I got rid of a huge library: thousands of books and articles. Bags and bags of clothes. Ornaments.
All the Christmas things I had while my daughter was growing up, which are completely unimportant to her for years – tree, glass balls, a sophisticated nativity scene -, I gave them all to charity.
But I kept this small, very old and simple nativity scene. Saint Joseph is missing and so is one of the Wise Men (or Kings). There is a weird elephant, two dogs and two hunters.
It belonged to my grandmother and I have no idea how it remained with me. I have moved countless times to different cities and countries – yet, it is here.
My grandmother is possibly one of the strongest women I met. She was a pianist and a piano teacher. She passed on her strong blood to my mother, who passed it on to me and I use it to lift weights.
I have no idea if there is anything after death. What I know is that we live through our legacy. My grandmother taught some of the best pianists in that country (Brazil). Her music still plays inside my mind and there is no sound more perfect that that. I like to think that if she is there, somewhere, she may be proud of me when I lift something heavy.
For you, what I wish is that you hang on to what is meaningful, to traditions that were meant to keep Meaning from being eroded. Meaning is something precious, yet, because immaterial, quite vulnerable. Conventions that are created to prevent intimacy and introspection erode Meaning.
Although I am not a religious person, I would like to hitchhike on my friend’s Christmas celebration and contribute my tradition, my Meaning: my ancestor’s Nativity Scene.
May you all find meaning in your own traditions and may you all cherish what grounds you to a warm place of your own.