Audrey's Christmas Letter "2008"

It is the first day of winter,, Dec 22. As soon as I got up I went to the window and looked out .It snowed the previous day and most of the night and I went to bed listening to the howling wind. My neighbor had plowed the driveway before I awoke. The snow was sticking to the window panes and I could barely see through them. The wind blew the snow up against the glass door in a hugh drift and the deck was one large impermanent snow sculpture of curves and hollows and concave shapes. Trash cans became art objects with snow caps and drifts around them. The snow in places had been blown into peeks with a sharp ridge and looked like a wave about to crest. Without a question it is a winter wonderland. Like a kid I could hardly wait to get out in it We have not had a storm of this significance for a long time. I went out the back off the shed where the cord wood is stacked because I though if I opened the door where the drift was I would have a room full of snow,however my trek around the house to the drive way was more arduous as I navigated the deep snow. I took a few pictures before destroying natures art and shoved to the door where my 10 month old dog Mira waited nose against the glass. It is her first time in deep snow and she leaped through it like a frog hopping from lily pad to lily pad. She had to dig where I threw the snow as I shoveled which made my job more difficult. yes I have another dog and I got her as an eight week old puppy.

Against everyones advice I said I could handle it. Well this dog has more energy than any dog I have had and that is a lot of dogs. She is part lab and shepherd. a beautiful dog and intelligent. She loves the water and she likes to fetch. She is a chewer and a shredder and i give her plenty of bones and wood to keep her busy between naps. We take walks everyday and I go across the field so she can run and play. Now I might have to buy show shoes because she needs to run and when I am on the rood I keep her on a leash. I was bragging about how she hadn't destroyed anything in the house. One day I came downstairs from my studio and found her shredding the futon, foam and cotton batten everywhere. It was my fault because I had taken the cover off to wash it and she found a tear and started working on it. I had bought the couch years ago at a flea market and it wasn't very comfortable. Chris slept on it when he came and after he got home to Eugene he would have to go the chiropractor. I don't know what got into me but I went out and bought a new futon and couch. I think it is the first time I have ever bought a new piece of furniture . Charlie and i lived on the edge of survival but we always had what we needed. Of course wants and needs are two different things and being an artist I have an appreciation of beautiful things, things I could not afford to buy. So I have a new couch now and I love it.

This Christmas I am alone. The Christmas Charlie was in the hospital Roxanne was with me and last year I was with Christopher. This years party was planed for the solstice the 21st being a Sunday but the last week we have had storms every few days. so I got everyone to come Saturday. The house was beautiful as usual Two fir trees from my yard wired together became the christmas tree. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the tree, big and tall from floor to ceiling with strings of lights and ornaments collected over the years, with memories connected to many of them. I have always loved Christmas from the time I was a child. and the sense of wonder and beauty and magic has never left me.

Christmas has become a time of giving and receiving gifts. I read an interesting article on this and I will share some of the information. The Buddha says "Happiness never decreases by being shared", The Bible says It is better to give than to receive. Here is an example of opposites that go together. Social theorists explains that gift giving has different roles in maintaining social ties and relationships. Motivations include maintaining power and prestige, promoting self-interest and giving as gesture of good will. Without reciprocity relationships cannot be maintained.

To some receiving puts them into a weaker position, charity for those that are in need because they cannot work for example. Guilt is one way our conscience responds to situations in which we feel that we don't deserve the good things that come to us. To receive we might need to leave behind the work -equals -reward mentality and allow for the possibility that we never had to deserve what we've earned, that some things are free, no strings attached. There should be no price for receiving . We can feel grateful . Without conflicts of receiving we can feel closer to others.

Chinese Philosophy says The most fundamental relationship is between heaven,earth and man, Man has a responsibility to keep heaven and earth in balance. Heaven is related to giving, expressing and achieving. Earth is related to giving, stillness and waiting. Giving has to do with action, creativity love, receiving with receptivity, acceptance and not knowing. Life is a gift we receive each day. When we're closed , it's as though we are asleep. What about the gifts we receive every day that are not shopped for in stores by people that feel obligated to buy Christmas presents. Are not the gifts of generosity from the heart the most remembered and appreciated. The mother that spends weeks cooking special foods for the holiday and decorating the house to make an atmosphere pleasant and enjoyable for all. So gather around the fire, the tree, the table and enjoy everyones presences, the presence of being together. This is the time of year when we should think deeper about the meaning of giving and receiving

Christmas is all about light, the light of Christ that is in all of us. Humans have been seeking the truth from the dawn of time. Who am I and why am I here. Christ said I am the way, I and the father are one and so are you. We are on earth to experience life in physical form, all the senses, and emotions and interactions with all other life forms. We are here to remember who we really are, a piece of god. a part of the whole. Each individual wakes up in his own time . We have eternity to do this . There is no beginning or end only now. Life cannot be experienced in a vacuum. A context must be produced in which we may experience what we chose to do, therefore the law of opposites. To know ourselves, we must experience. " There is a difference between knowing and experiencing, and it is experiencing what it knows itself to be for which the soul yearns."
It is my belief that we make our own reality. I have come to believe that God is not separate or outside of us. I believe God is a intelligent loving living energy and god is always becoming , renewing and changing because god also experiences life through the individual living forms of his - her creations, " life as it is created is the process, life as it appears is the expression, and life as it affects us is the experience. How it affects us is determined by us. The eternal cycle of process, expression, experience is Divinity Itself. It is God godding." Neale Donald Walsch. Because of my beliefs I should not judge, criticize or blame another for anything that happens to me because I created the situation for my learning experience. When the opposite appears it is put there by me to experience." What you resist, persists" " never oppose that which opposes you. Do not oppose, compose." Through experience we gain knowledge and through knowledge we gain wisdom. Eventually we will create experiences that will benefit all.

Dec 27, the 3rd day of christmas. Neighbors and family were here Christmas day. We shared a great meal, ate to much especially sweets and relaxed sitting around the tree opening a few presents. Now I sit alone on my new couch. Doug , Christina and Lucy left yesterday afternoon. I feel lonely. I always do when my children leave. The feeling will pass and I will be fine tomorrow. The only sounds in the quiet house are coming from the wind outside and the fire in the wood stove. I finished my coffee while listening to a tape, Saint Saens christmas Oratorio. There is a song on the tape that reminds me of a song that Charlie wrote. called Winter Garden. The music written so many years apart, but maybe not. I keep reading everything happens in the now, a concept that we humans cannot comprehend. If everything has been created then our creating comes from remembering. We tap into the knowledge that we want to know and draw it to us . So basically we reinvent and give a different interpretation to the knowledge..Did you ever wonder, Where do ideas come from?

The dog sleeps on her pillow dreaming dog dreams. I look over to the tree. plugged in with lights on. Electricity powers the pellet stove, the auger regulating the pellets into the fire chamber. It is a dark cloudy day, 40 degrees outside according to my indoor outdoor digital thermometer. We come to appreciate electricity when the power goes out, especially in winter. Doug was without power for a few days and he had to hook up a wood stove and find candles. Yes the cell phones and computers can not be charged. There are lessons to be learned from every situation, so look to the bright side. When the power goes out relax, pull a chair next to the fire, read a book, write with a pen, have a conversation with people around you, go to bed early with lots of blankets . It can be enjoyable. When our house got to cold to stay in we visited a friend or went to a warm place like the library. I like the cold warm opposites. Hopefully I will not experience freezing to death in this lifetime. Being out side, dressed for the elements is invigorating and it is especially nice when there is snow on the ground. For me, one of the most pleasurable feelings is going from the cold into a warm house. or being inside warm and protected while a storm rages outside.
Last Christmas I was in Eugene Oregon and I enjoyed the holidays with Chris and his family. It was a retreat for painting. I was there a month and completed 18 paintings using Christopher's technique in oil. Diane was home healing from surgery on torn ligaments on her knee. The highlight of my stay was attending the opera The Magic flute. The next big event was Courtney' and Peter's wedding in Mexico. the first week in May. Doug ,Christina and I flew down together. It was at a resort on a beach in a small town north of Puerto Vallarta. About 50 friends and relatives went down. It was a great experience.

Summer was cool, very few days got into the eighties. I had my last swim Sept.25th. The garden was not as good as usual. Chris came in October and He and Doug shingled the front of the house. Chris and I took one day to see the galleries and museum in Rockland.

My sons are doing well. Doug and Christina moved to a house they bought in Amesbury. Chris has been working in the same restaurant for years. He works hard and puts a lot of time into painting. His work is in several good galleries on the west coast. Doug wants to get back to doing creative work now that he has space in the new house. I am blessed to have caring and talented sons. You can see our accomplishments on our web site Doug is the master mind on the computer and he created the site.

I like the time with friends. Mondays a group meets to read and discuss books about spirituality. We seek the truth. Who are we and why are we here. I have always had an obsession with this since the seventies when I read the Seth books. I believe we are spiritual beings experiencing humanity. Our job is to remember our true identity.

The jazz jams that Charlie started twenty years ago still take place once a month, great musicians and a small enthusiastic audience that come every month. Mike keeps the jams organized and he got together some good musicians that played with Charlie and put on a concert of Charlie's original compositions at the Broad Bay Congregational Church in Waldoboro where Charlie played every Sunday for 18 years. I enjoy the members of Tidemark Gallery and also neighbors, and friends some whom I met at the local sandwich shop. I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful place and know many wonderful people.
I have all the free time in the world and I accomplish less each year, however I am enjoying life doing what I like to do, expressing myself through painting.

Another cycle around the sun, 2008 a 1 year, new beginning, change and we have certainly had changes. The human race and the planet move into the new age of aquarius and a new cycle of movement in the heavens. Yes there will be a lot of changes
I feel the age of materialism, commercialism and imperialism is dying. As the old paradigm perishes life may become frightening. How one adjusts depends on attitude, resilience, and faith that we humans can and will move on to a better way of living . Communication has connected every part of the world. A lot of the population is no longer ignorant of the injustices that are taking place around the globe. To make change, to create balance requires action.

,Opposites are apart of life. They are here for us to learn from. Challenges are necessary. Critical times are times in which humans have opportunities to shift their thinking, to rethink beliefs . Understandings can take place, problems solved, inventions and breakthroughs made.

In times of crisis there are those that step up to the plate, They are out there right now. Perhaps our new president is one of them. We will see. You say what can I do? Change will come as each individual changes. All that is required is knowing you are making a difference by your attitude of being at peace with yourself, and seeing all humans as equal, Treat everyone fairly, with compassion, and be thankful for what you have.

Now humans must connect to them selves Be still and listen, be aware, take action from the heart. When we are well and whole ,we will make the planet whole. Everything is connected, humans to each other to the planet and everything on the planet. The light is overcoming the darkness, believe have faith. Peace will come to the earth. These are exciting times. Happy Holidays

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
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