Goodbye, 2010

The Murphy women had our annual Christmas baking day yesterday--stacks of cookie sheets, oven on all day, constant chopping of nuts and and the crackle of parchment paper. It was a miserably wet day, but I took a little walk by myself after lunch. I ended up in front of the Buddhist temple near our house with Christian hymns playing on my iPod. I stood there in the rain, cold and in awe of this world that keeps turning in spite of everything we've done to it.

I just finished reading my friend Sonya Chung's debut novel, Long for This World. I loved so many things about it, but especially her phrase "Accidental Family." (You'll have to read the book to know the compelling story behind it which is much different than the way I co-opt the phrase here). Just in my zip code, there are hundreds of languages represented, multitudes of religions, millions of stories. I like to think of us as an Accidental Family--we didn't choose one another, we rarely understand each other, and friendship doesn't come easy. I used to think friendship was the mark of relationship. Sometimes, miraculously, friendship happens. More often, we are just near one another--on the train, at the park or produce stand, trying, on our best days, to give each other the benefit of the doubt.

I'm signing off for a couple weeks. Here's a few photos to say goodbye to 2010 and hello to 2011. Wherever you are, whatever your plans, fears, or hopes, may you be met with love. May you experience family, accidental or otherwise.

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