So, this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
This lyric has been playing in my mind since yesterday, in honor of the new year, and thank you John Lennon for your song Happy Xmas (War is Over).
It has been a helluva year, hasn’t it?
I bought a number of these sacred heart painted tin ornaments, all different designs, from my friend John Cutrone at Convivio Bookworks. He gets them from artisans in San Miguel Allende in Mexico. I wanted to give these out for Yule gifts, but this one above I saved back for myself. I wasn’t sure why, except I love hand imagery, being a handy person myself.
Finally it dawned on me – in fact at dawn this morning, when I took this photo – that this is the image of the abhaya mudra, and it is the gesture that bestows fearlessness.
I first saw this image as a sculpture in the very spare bedroom of Georgia O’Keeffe’s house in Abiquiu in 2007. The room was almost completely bare except for a bronze hand in this position mounted on the wall, facing her bed. Georgia is considered to be a most fearless artist, but she is also famous for saying, “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” She is an ancestor of spirit for many of us, and her words are good to remember.
We are all fearful, most of us a lot more often than we would like to admit. Fear is a useful emotion. It warns us of danger, and might keep us alive. We are smart and responsible to be alert to danger. But fear is also paralyzing, and isolating, and hate-inducing.
Here is a little about how this mudra is used.
So this is my wish for this new year of 2021. This talisman on my hearth will remind me to let fear guard me, but not rule me, and when I feel fear, let it be tempered with love so that I make the right decision. And may it be so for you, and for all of us, as we go forward.