I have a new laptop. And a new desk calendar. Not to be confused with my new wall calendar, organized by the church year, not months! A page of Advent (4 weeks), followed by a page of Christmas (2 weeks), followed by 7 weeks of Epiphany.
Everything I use to document my days: new. My new keyboard keys don’t stick. I can see every letter because none have rubbed off yet.
My new calendar on which nothing is crossed off. No arrows in pencil. No exclamation points or smiley faces.
I should be happy. But always, before I am happy with new, I am: confused.
This is not how my keyboard should feel when I type. I hit the S 3 times in a row out of habit before remembering once is enough, now.
I am writing a new book. A devotional. A page a day in which I’m exploring the revolving door from the church to the world and back around again.
This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. Outside the church it is 21 shopping days until Christmas. Outside that circle, it is 7 days until the Christmas Food Pantry distribution.
Somewhere in New Jersey it will be: move without packing day for there is nothing left to pack.
I feel guilty of new.
I tell myself: you’re a writer. You need the tool to write just as a carpenter needs a hammer.
My old laptop would not close. I limped along carrying it in an open position and buckling it into the backseat carefully for months.
My struggle it seems is the struggle of Christmas for many. We have. We make do. We want better. We buy. We adjust. We are thankful. We feel guilty.
We are confused.
Just go with it, I say to myself. For now, enjoy the fresh, the untarnished, the workingness of this new.
Soon I will pack away last year’s battered calendar which holds the memories of where I’ve been. Worse for wear, scribbled and dog-eared and listed in non-matching inks, that old calendar somehow got a piece of my heart.
I hear an old song, Cat Stevens, in my mind: “…and though your dreams will toss and turn you now. They will vanish away like your daddys best jeans, denim blue fading up to the sky. And though you want them to last forever you know they never will…and the patches make the goodbye harder still.”
On this new laptop, I will write my new book. I turn to look at the page in my old calendar on which I celebrated the publication of my first book: Given Moments Arrives Today! I had drawn a stick-figure picture next to it of Tracy & I dancing.
An old friend suggested the working title for my next book: Indigo Advent.
Indigo: the dryer buzzes announcing my jeans are done drying.
I put on my warm pair of jeans that fit just right as the future beckons: Come.