Audrey's Christmas Letter "2006"

Dec. 6,06
I sit by the bed where Charlie rests and we listen to Beowolf, composed by him and recorded on his home computer. I always hope some day it can be performed by professional musicians. Charlie had a stroke in the middle of November, and it was life or death the first week. He cannot speak or swallow. His right side was affected, no movement in right arm, some movement with right leg, left side OK. Not being able to communicate is frustrating for us. The music helps a lot. I think it helps him heal himself. I see his mind processing the music, his concentration is there. As far as we know, Charlie understands everything that is said to him. I see he is determined to get better. As I have said before, everything happens for a reason. This event was programmed by Charlie for us to experience. How we handle the experience will determine how we come through the lesson. School on earth doesn't end until we move on to the spirit side of life.

First, we realize what a marvel the body is. Like an engine in a car, it runs perfectly. We just drive. In this experience we think about life, the moving energy that flows through us. What is it that makes us alive? I quote a scientist, Kevin Kelly's explanation about the ceaseless creativity that characterizes life: (Becoming becoming. Life is on its way to further complications, further deepness and mystery, further processes of becoming and change. Life is circles of becoming, an autocatalytic set, inflaming itself with its own sparks, breeding upon itself more life and more wildness and more becomingness. Life has no conditions, no moments that are not instantly becoming something more than life itself.) However, the mystery of life is still unexplainable. We have been given an experience to show how precious life is, how we should never take any day for granted, how we live life each day focusing on the present, appreciating what we have that includes all those we love and who love us. Second, we are reminded how compassionate humans can be. When you need them, they are there for you. We are not alone, and need each other for support. The belief in the goodness in humans is reinforced. Friends, neighbors, family, nurses, and doctors are there to help Charlie recover, and give me support.

Dec. 13th Charlie was moved from Miles Hospital in Damariscotta to New England Rehab in Portland. He can move his tongue, say some words and he can swallow. He fed himself some mashed potatoes. The rehab specialist works with him about 5 hours a day. He is working hard and is in good spirits. Doug and I are about one and a half hours from Portland and we will alternate visits so he gets to see us once a week.

The house is decorated for Christmas. Doug and his girlfriend came up the weekend before Charlie was moved to Portland and we bought a tree and they helped put the ornaments on. Candles are in the windows . Every flat surface is covered with Christmas memorabilia. It's me and the animals. We humans are not meant to live alone. "We were together. I forget the rest." (Walt Whitman) I am a person that likes to be alone and I never have felt lonely, because I don't live alone. Charlie and I have been together 45 years. What I miss while he is away is sharing. Being together we don't have to talk, just sitting together in the moment is all that we need. Being together to eat a meal. The food tastes better. I don't know why. What we have accomplished for ourselves has been shared and appreciated by the other. Together we are more than ourselves. Individuals need to be in relationship, need to be connected to others. It is a fundamental truth that nothing can exist without the other, and it must be a relationship of cooperation. This is how life sustains itself and evolves on the planet.
With the stroke that Charlie had, is his inability to communicate. This year I have read many books about spirituality and related information. Being able to communicate in a meaningful way would in itself bring peace to the planet. I have learned that the way we have learned to communicate was by the example of our parents. Yes, the way we express thoughts through the stringing together of words has great impact on our view of ourselves and others. There is a lot of judgment, criticism, demands, commands. Is there conversation? Is there reasoning, explanation, encouragement? Is there an exchange of ideas? Are needs understood? We need to think about the way we communicate and do it in a way that will not be negative, in a way where reasonable solutions can be attained by all, where mistakes can be understood and corrected. Listening is the other side of conversation. It is just as important to listen without judgment, to really listen without imposing our values. I am guilty of making accusations, of judging people according to my values. It is not easy to speak in a peaceful way.

There are great changes taking place on Earth now. It reads like science fiction. The information is difficult to understand. Astrological cycles in the heavens are ending and beginning. The sun is moving into the middle of the Milky Way. One may think, how can the earth be influenced by objects so far away? Well, we know what tides do and sun flares. Science knows something about gravity and magnetic energy. The energy on Earth is increasing. Time is speeding up. Humans are influenced by the energy and in turn increase the energy on earth. Everything in the universe works together to help the whole.

For thousands of years, some men wanting power and wealth have created wars, have ruled over and taken from common man. Their weapon is fear, repression. Keep the people ignorant and they will not rebel. Well, guess what? People are waking up. All over the world people are standing up for their rights. They are realizing their self-worth. They are saying to the Powers that Be, we the people will be treated with respect. Thousands of people are using non-violent means to protest. They are fighting for fair wages for decent living conditions. They are fighting to save the planet. Books have been written, exposing the corruption, the lies, deception, the cover- ups committed by big business and governments. The earth is a small planet, news travels fast. The truth is out there.

(Realize that for every on-going war and religious outrage and environmental devastation, there are a thousand counter-balancing acts of staggering generosity and humanity happening all over the world, right now on a breathtaking scale. Realize that this is the perfect moment to change the energy of the world, to step right up and crank your personal volume, right when it seems dark and bitter. Remember magic. Finally, believe you are a part of a groundswell, a resistance, a seemingly small, but actually very very large impending overhaul, a great shift, the beginning of something important and potent and unstoppable.) Mark Morford - The earth is spinning into a new dimension, the dawn of a new age. Rage and violence are dissipating. The young will become the peacekeepers of the planet.

We are spirit in a physical body, as a friend said, angels in various states of amnesia. Some recognize this duality. Those that do understand a spiritual awakening will leave the linear time and become aware of the NOW. Man is realizing that he is a part of God, the Christ light, creating the events in his life that will give him the answers that he already knows in the Now. The answers are within.

Knowing what is taking place on earth now makes it an exciting time to be here. I feel like a child waiting for Christmas. I can't say that I understand what I read, but I feel it. Somehow we will change from non-caring to caring, from violence and hate to peace and love.

I have spoken of my love of this time of year, the low sun, its light reflecting on the cove water so intensely you cannot look into it directly. Low sun that simplifies shapes, and makes shadows longer.

Darkness comes quickly when the sun goes down and every day I have a walk with the dog under starlight. How can anyone look at the heavens and not ask questions? We are alive on this speck of a planet looking out at space that is filled with stars and planets within galaxies, galaxies that go on forever beyond sight. Humans have named groups of stars and followed their movements, recording their cycles. Here we are now at the winter solstice, a time that has been celebrated for eons. The paradox is that stars in their ordered place in the universe are there, always moving in their destined paths, and we can see them only in the dark, when our sun shines on the other side of the planet. In the darkness we see their light. Light is a symbol with many meanings. Christians celebrate Christ's birthday a few days after the solstice. It was set up that way and I think it is the perfect time. Christ, the symbol of light and love, a beacon in the darkness. We embrace this light, for it is in us. This is the time of miracles and magic. Yes, love is in the air.

We have been in darkness a long time. I believe night is close to dawn. I see a warm glow on the horizon. I know how it works to attain peace on earth. It happens with each individual that finds joy in his work, love for his family, and compassion for all life. More and more people are finding this peace in themselves, like waves moving out, their light dissipates the darkness. A critical mass (we do not know the number) will be reached and a change will happen, and it may happen quickly. Like a train pulling out of the station, moving slowly at first, then gathering speed, moving toward the destination, picking up more people along the way, filled with believers, humanity will arrive in a new world. I want to live long enough to experience a peaceful planet. I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with my philosophy. Perhaps I have wasted a lot of time, not painted as much as I should, not done all the things I wanted to do. I do not feel guilty about this. I keep saying there is not enough time. It is going too fast. I am slowing down as I get older, seventy this year. Does it matter how much we accomplish? I enjoy life. I am happy. Hopefully, I influence others in a good way. Maybe that is all we need to do.

Yes, the year went by faster then ever, a mild winter, not enough snow, cold wet spring, and a beautiful summer and fall. Life brings its joy in hearing the peepers on a spring day, of seeing a parade of wildflowers blooming from spring to fall, of feeling wonderful after a swim on a hot day, of noticing things in a new way.

This summer a friend of mine, a friend that I have known for years celebrated her birthday by inviting a few of her women friends to stay at a house she rented on Cape Cod. The weather was perfect. We cooked and ate good meals, read, talked, went swimming, kayaking, did yoga, painted with watercolors on the beach. We went to a play. I really can't explain the total togetherness I felt. You know how much I like to swim. When I went in the water the first time, I couldn't believe how warm it was. It felt like being in a womb, buoyant, surrounded by warmth and comfort. I thought perhaps this is how a baby feels inside its mother. I had never felt those sensations before. First times are always memorable.

It is always wonderful to have our sons visit. Chris came In September and again when Charlie had the stroke. Doug was here at the same time. Chris missed his first solo opening at a gallery in Eugene when he flew to Maine to be with his Dad. He sold two paintings that night and four more during the show. Charlie and I are blessed to have two creative, caring sons.
When Chris was here in September, we drove south of Boston to see Charlie's sisters and family, and we saw his oldest Aunt now in her nineties. When Charlie had the stroke, his sisters and two nieces drove up to Damariscotta to see Charlie in the hospital.

I thought I would be alone in this decorated house for the holidays. A friend who used to live in Waldoboro and now lives in California decided to come to Waldoboro for Christmas during the school vacation. Due to strange circumstances, I invited her to stay with me. Synchronicity, watch for it . I am glad to have her company. Everything worked out as it should.
Christmas Eve, Doug will be here. My neighbors and their son and family will come for dinner and the eight of us will enjoy the evening together in the soft glow of candles and Christmas lights. The house will be warm and full of good smells, and we will be encompassed in this house of peace.

I have been writing bits and pieces of this letter over the last several weeks. This time I will finish the day before Christmas.
I wish to thank all the people that have offered their help. Thank you for visiting Charlie, for giving me support, for sending cards and well wishes, for your calls. I appreciate your concern. I really am overwhelmed by everyone's kindness.
May you all be together with your friends and families and best wishes for the holidays.
Remember we are all angels.

X-mas Letter "2001"     X-mas Letter "2002"     X-mas Letter "2003"     X-mas Letter "2004"     X-mas Letter "2005"    

X-mas Letter "2006"     X-mas Letter "2007"     X-mas Letter "2008"     X-mas Letter "2009"     X-mas Letter "2010"    

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Audrey Bechler 968 Backcove Rd. Waldoboro, ME 04572 1-207-6832-6806
Layout, Design, and Revisions ©2005 by Douglas Bechler...... Revised, January 6, 2011