Christmas was all packed up and put away for another year. All the glitz and glam was gone. With help from my neighbors, my fake tree had been dismantled, folded up, corralled into its box, and carted off leaving me to contemplate my existential astonishment at how its bogus existence had created such genuine joy during the late holiday season. All the ornaments, those delightful shiny baubles, were sorted away on their high shelf above the washing machine once again, there to collect dust and commune with each other, comparing stories of their recent star status on Instagram and Facebook. The tabletop stuff … the napkins, the plates, the toys, the tree skirt, the wrapping paper, the potholders, the ribbons, and the bows had been put to rest in the big chest under the mirror, with the newly polished silver in pride of place on top once again.  And all the rest of the fluffy tree stuffers … the ivy, the shiny glitzy greenery, the fake red berries, and the swags … were all bagged and tuck away high atop the living room armoire. To be honest, at the end of the day it felt a bit odd … I really missed the tree and all the rest of the glitz and glam. I don’t often feel lonesome, but that evening I felt as if all the comradery and bonhomie of the season had been stolen away, and I had been abandoned by the good times.

However, the next day I began the process of reassembling my studio. It was exhilarating to retrieve the accoutrement of my artistic life. All my art supplies, stored in the back room for the Christmas season, needed to be returned to the studio. Out came the sketch books, the canvases, the boxes of photos, the bag full of folders filled with ideas, the work light and the old decrepit table cover. Out came the old side table, the paints, the brushes, the palette knives, the pencils, the pens, the markers, the water bottles, the spritzer, the empty jars, the rags, and the waste basket.  It was a pleasure to say hello to all of my old familiar stuff. As I handled all the bits and pieces, and relocated the artistic tools of the trade, my fingers welcomed the feel of all that hidden possibility. But as time wore on, and I contemplated what might be done with all the blank pages and canvases and paint and brushes and nibs and pencils, and pens and palette knives, I found myself suddenly overwhelmed and exhausted. It seemed like a hard slog, jump starting the old creative motor after taking a month off.

So, I decided to take a break from my labors, and retired to the kitchen for a much-needed infusion of comfort food. Unfortunately, the only snack-like comestible left in my kitchen was a somewhat withered apple and … oh WAIT … there under the fruit bowl was a stash of homemade Christmas cookies. I had received them from a friend, and now recalled scarfing up all of them except the rather blah ordinary-looking chocolate cookies. I’ve never been a real fan of plain sweet chocolate cookies, so I had tucked them away under the fruit bowl in their nice tidy container, and forgotten they were there. They had escaped the holiday purge, so I decided it was time to finish off the last of the Christmas season, and the cookies … blah or not … needed to go in what I rationalized as a clean sweep of all things holiday related. Calories be damned!

Well, I am here to tell you it was both a shock and a revelation to take a bite of that ordinary looking cookie. It was also a reminder not to judge a cookie by its cover … looks can be deceiving. What an extraordinary flavor! That cookie wasn’t dusted with sugar … it was sprinkled with salt! The chocolate was dark and rich and the combination with the salt was amazing. What a treat to be surprised by an unexpected flavor bomb. It was as if the friend who had made the effort and taken the time to share, had given me a warm friendly hug when I really needed it. It was a welcome reminder of the past season filled with joy and sharing. It was just what I needed.

And as for the studio filled with all that creative dreck … all the lines and shapes and textures and color that awaited my attention… well they would all be there whenever I felt ready to start up again. Instead, now seemed like the perfect time to have some tea, finish the last of the cookies and crack open one of my library books. After all, my mother was a master procrastinator and taught me well. And as it turns out there is a whole list of highly successful people that are procrastinators. J.K. Rowling, Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, Victor Hugo, and Steve Jobs, to name but a few. Obviously, I am in good company … So here is to procrastination, rationalization, and Christmas Cookies. My they bring you joy whenever, and wherever you find them.

10 Replies to “COOKIES”

  1. Flavor bombs, indeed! Could I interest you in a bit of the favorite family fruitcake? NO candied cherries, pineapple, or other adulterated bits….

  2. Lovely vignette, Connie. You depicted the coming and going of your holiday trappings with flair and warmth. And then the cookies with their salty secret and your willingness to forestall your return to the pre-holiday routine—-such a human and universal sentiment. I await your next installment with a smile. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love your turn of phrase! I heard someone recently say we’ve reached the stage of being time affluent. I feel more comfortable about taking time for tea and reading! Please keep blogging…and painting!

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