Well, Thanksgiving passed without a hitch. No turkey, no stuffing, no pumpkin pie but I did suck down a nice bottle of Dubeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2010 and it was just marvy. The kitties and I had a peanutbutter sandwich (organic) in order to make the roof of my mouth more sticky, this needing some of the red stuff to wash it loose.
The holidays ended when my family died and this is the first year that I really do not give a fig (like in figgy pudding) about the holiday or any holiday, for that matter, with the exception of the Pagan versions, which are much more heartfelt. It is not so much that I have given up on the holidays, as Bob Dylan says, ‘my sense of humanity has gone down the drain’. I am an Outsider. I have said it often and it finally fits at the time when I need to walk the Edge the most – the holidays. I do love my two cats, Inkie and Budderz.
As we are brought up in american family culture, the holidays get pre-programmed into our brains by many forces (parents, grandparents, siblings, other kids, the media, the church). They make us think we are less of a person for not being part of the crowd. Maybe I choose to be Outside but after trying to be on the ‘Inside’ in Pennsylvania, all I can say is ‘fuck that’.
Some years, I get a feeling of despair, starting around mid-October. Samhain helps but then we are womped alongside the head with a string of holidays that can cause the depressed to jump over the edge. More suicides are committed and more relationships break up during the Xmas season than anytime of year. Perhaps it is the futility of being loved. Most people don’t have the slightest idea what love is anymore. Many people have told me that ‘love is dead’. I find that hard to believe but, Gentle Readers, it sure feels that way to me.
Human nature is basically cruel and contentious. Did you ever drive somewhere and have a car in front of you going slow, like maybe 15-20 miles under the speed limit? Then you pass the car and they speed up and tailgate you. People go out of their way to be pricks but I see very few going out of their way to be nice or to care about the feelings of others. Most road rage is kind of private, usually between you, the offender and any witness who may happen along. Acts of kindness are televised, written up, bragged on, tagged on FaceBook and recorded on YouTube.
Look at our old friend, Jesus, who some people call Son of God and Son of Man at the same time. The Son of God does pretty well for himself, turning water to wine, destroying temples, pulling beards of the moneychangers, raising the dead and a number of other conversation-stopping party tricks. The Son of Man, his alter ego, doesn’t have it so good. “The foxes have holes and the birds have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Not that I think I am Jesus, but he sure nailed it.
It is not normal for people to think of others. We think about ourselves. Thinking about others went out of style when we stopped depending on them. When we do for others, our reward is usually waiting in the Land of Karma and will not be felt on this worldly plane. We should do for others for no reason but that our hearts are filled with love. I wish they still were. I wish people still needed each other and showed it.
When I was a kid in upstate New York, we got some monster snowstorms. Snow covered the ground from Halloween to Easter, from Samhain to Beltain, and I have the childhood pics to prove it. The point is, all of the men of the neighborhood banded together and fought each storm with shovels as a group. They shoveled up one side of the street and down the other, ending at a house (usually ours) where several bottles of Canadian Club whiskey appeared to cap off the work. People were together then. There was not so much personal desolation.
We have electronic devices to communicate so we do not know half, maybe three quarters of the people we chat with. We have no connections, we have no need for loyalty, we can log off.
Many years, I had happy holidays and some years I had lonely ones that sucked. This is the first holiday season when I can say, free and easy, that I just don’t care. I would rather be the one out crying in the wilderness than to kiss ass to have a seat at a table. If you have a family, cherish it. Mine is gone and that is life. I am not bitter, I don’t think…I have just stopped caring and I really never had much faith in others to begin with, so nought is lost.
Enjoy your families. Enjoy the present moment. It is all we have.