Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year!

Just a few hours of 2008 left-- what will the New Year bring besides a new presidency? The predictors say more economic troubles-- which I believe. Will we find life on Mars? Will we discover a mechanism for time travel? Will we find the lost island of Atlantis?

Perhaps-- it all lies out there for the discovering.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gifted AND talented!

Your reality should not be defined by anyone other than yourself. My reality should not be defined by my family, my friends, my political leaders, etc.. We all need the opportunity to be the best we can be. And hopefully we've been given the skills to do that- hopefully we're not too warped by unhealthy situations and relationships to have a good life. We'll see...

Check out the group blog at http://yuletides.blogspot.com/. You can post there too simply get the logon and password and blog like it were your own! Caution: religious posts may be countered with anti-religious posts. (The logon and password are in the comment to this post.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

family and christmas?

Some folks may tolerate their families for Christmas, succumbing to the guilt that everyone needs to be with family on the holiday (never mind that they are not the people you really want to be with). Some may have to put up with their mother's insulting comments about their cooking or their untidy house, their father's pushiness about their work or income, etc. Not fun. My family are all religious freaks- so religious that they think they have the right, even at my age, to disapprove of my life. They expect me, for some odd reason, to submit to their guilt trips and (terrible) advice for my life. They expect- no, demand that I be nicer more loving than they are willing to be. Well at my age, I'm done with that and there will be no forced family niceties where I am concerned. I don't think I owe them anything to them all things considered (see the memoirs below if you're curious).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Affair to Remember

Not your cookie cutter Christmas fare, but a holiday classic nonetheless. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr celebrate the New Year together on a cruise ship, finding as they do so, that love may have come to late. Deborah Kerr's character memorably says, "Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories... And we've already missed the spring!" They arrange to meet later six months later at the top of the Empire State building (the "nearest thing to heaven in [New York]") to see how they feel then but an accident keeps them apart and it is only a moment of circumstance that causes them to meet again, for the last and beautiful time.

Truly, A love story to remember which is why it makes my favorite list.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Christmas

Christmas has been taken over and subverted by Christianity. It's origins begin long before Judaism or Christianity existed, as early as 4000 B.C.E. when the Mesopotamians celebrated a twelve day festival known as Zagmuth. This holiday was held in honor of MArduk, the god of chaos, who they believed battled the monsters of chaos at the beginning of winter.

Later, the Romans held a celebration called Saturnalia which began in early December and lasted until the first of January. The Romans decorated their homes with garlands and put candles on trees in honor of the celebration. During this period, the Romans would visit each other and have grand feats and exchange gifts to foster good luck for the coming year.

The Roman celebration was probably the inspiration for the latter Christian celebration (as were many other Roman beliefs about god). Constantine, the first "christian" emperor incorporated the pagan holiday into Christianity with the hopes that Christians and pagans would celebrate the feast together.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say "HAPPY SATURNALIA"!!!

source: http://www.historyofchristmas.net/

Monday, December 15, 2008

I believe in Father Christmas

I believe in Father Christmas

They said there'll be snow at christmas
They said there'll be peace on earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin's birth
I remember one Christmas morning
A winters light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire

They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a silent night
And they told me a fairy story
till I believed in the Israelite
And I believed in Father Christmas
And I looked at the sky with excited eyes
till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear
They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on earth
Hallelujah! Noel! be it heaven or hell
The Christmas you get you deserve

Hallelujah! Noel! be it heaven or hell
The Christmas you get you deserve
~ Pete Sinfield and Greg Lake

The Christmas tree

"The Egyptians were part of a long line of cultures that treasured and worshipped evergreens. When the winter solstice arrive, they brought green date palm leaves into their homes to symbolize life's triumph over death.

The Romans celebrated the winter solstice with a fest called Saturnalia in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture. They decorated their houses with greens and lights and exchanged gifts. They gave coins for prosperity, pastries for happiness, and lamps to light one's journey through life.

Centuries ago in Great Britain, woods priests called Druids used evergreens during mysterious winter solstice rituals. The Druids used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life, and place evergreen branches over doors to keep away evil spirits.

Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring. Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions."
quoted from http://www.christmas-tree.com/where.html


Americans are not long on legacy. We do not value the time honored traditions and icons of our past. We are in love with NEW things and YOUTH is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. As a result we are missing out on a great deal that is beautiful about life.

Recently, a tradition was torn down not too far from where I live. A drive-in that had been in existence since drive-ins were the "latest" was torn down and an apartment building is now being erected there. Scrapping for space, the buildings stand back to back with a pleasant view of well-trafficked thoroughfares. On one side of the property, clinging to life, the marquis of the now dead and buried car theater lingers, a waning shadow of days gone by. It's graffitied front is a reminder of couples grappling in the backseats of '54 chevies, of families piled in station wagons, teenagers clambering into the bed of the pickup so they can lie on a mattress watching the large screen with the tinny dialogue of actors blaring from metal speakers that dangle on the car window. My son, an eleven year-old who has not yet been sold on the Need for New, the love of change or "progress", on our morning drive past the burial ground of family fun, nearly always looks at the new construction with disgust and comments, "Wasting perfectly good space". Undoubtedly the placard will eventually be utilized for advertising the new apartment's appeal to passers-by and a sad final nail will be put in the coffin of the drive-in theater's marker.

As an icon of American values it is more than symbolic that the Cinderella drive-in can be torn down without so much as a sigh from the populace. And it speaks to us poignantly, I suppose, that those things that are, in fact, uniquely American are held in no more reverence than the past from which many escaped to come to this country. For peoples who left their homeland in often difficult circumstances to start anew and who cling only to language and diet for their sense of culture it should not be surprising that American icons hold little or no significance. Perhaps the truth about American tradition is that tradition is despised, ignored and subservient to constant deconstruction and that our true tradition is leaving anything that ties us to the past behind and going after what pads the pocket book. All is subject to the tradition of greed in this country.

But this is a loss for us all. These cultural symbols, these unique institutions that do still linger in our midst, are more than archaic reminders of our youth. They are what give us a past, that connect us to our yesterdays and to each other. It is no coincidence that when the US invaded Iraq and began remaking that country that they allowed the dismantling of the museums and historic sites. It was their very intention to rob the people of that which lies at the center of their identity like a redwood's most interior growth ring, binding them to each other and a venerable narrative of civilization, beauty and grandeur. Without these ties, it is supposed, the people can be broken and remolded into a more complacent and compliant glob, loosely bound together by religious ties which ultimately keep them at odds and distracted. Now concerned, like their conquerors, only with their personal needs ("needs" being defined generously by the marketplace) they are capable of joining the ranks of humanity that are mere consumers. Americans.

Christmas is a specter of our past- a memento of a lost Atlantis that is quickly being extinguished by greed and marketing. Lame protestations about the commercialization of Christmas is simply not enough. It is up to us to fight, to protest, to do something different in order to keep the truth of Christmas-- to be like the Grinch, or Charlie Brown, or Scrooge and find the substance behind the facade, to grip the reality that there is more to life than getting more, buying more, having more, more, more, more. . .

Life really is finding meaning in the little things we do, holding onto memories of our childhood, clinging to tradition and ritual.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All I want for Christmas

Christmas is all about giving--
It is that time of year when we spend time focusing on the people in our lives, finding something they will enjoy and cherish. We do this, not out of obligation or in order to get something (hopefully), but as a reminder to them that you're grateful for them, you love them, and, in fact, you love them enough to spend time purchasing presents that were chosen especially for them.

It's not about buying the best or the fanciest-- an addition to a collection or a book on a topic of special interest are examples of ways to find that "perfect" gift. Time spent considering our loved ones wants, desires, and dreams is never time wasted and adds beauty and love to all our lives. I wish for you a Merry Christmas full of happiness and love this holiday.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Isn't it ironic-- or perhaps it would be better to say convenient-- how much like us god is? I mean, if we think homosexuality is disgusting, then god hates homosexuality. If we think war is wrong, then god hates war. It doesn't really matter what your personal belief system is, liberal or conservative, muslim or christian, god always hates the things you hate, loves the things you love or forgives the things your okay with. And unfortunately the god people design for themselves rarely makes them better people. (Although, they try to claim they'd be murderers or an abominable human being if it were not for god but that is just BS they say to try and prove how god has changed them-- doesn't prove anything, except perhaps they are weak or desperate to see god where god is not)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grief and healing...

Some days it sweeps over me like a surge after the hurricane... the loss. Not because I cried myself to death but the loss of self that occurred before I finally pulled the plug on a life sadly lived.

But it didn't have to be that way, I think...

There is a portrait of me in one of my mother's disorganized shoe boxes: A blonde puppy sitting atypically quiet, droopingly contemplating a spot to curl up in, a chubby hand resting on his back having been posed by the nearby photographer. The tiny teeth of the toddler gleam whitely, sandy blonde hair combed and curled in an unusually ruly manner (there were probably some tears over this fuss), a crinkled nose and ornery twinkle in the eye that held the unspoken threat "I'm only here for a minute, you better take the picture quick."

Having caught the glimmer, it cannot escape the viewer's eye that the little girl has been still-lifed in her natural state. This is the pre-me... the me that knows what she likes and doesn't like (and believe me I KNEW I didn't like many things) and who will reject anything that doesn't meet her standards. Later, hours of solitude and quiet nurture the imagination and reading stirs the vivid mind. There is promise here-- life that has not yet been stymied-- squelched.

Alas, food and clothing were the only battles that were won for the tottler unfortunately. I floundered before I found wing. At what point I began losing that small bud of self, I cannot tell you and the only real evidence that it was tangible and not just a fluke of the shutter are the flashes of the mind and imagination that appear like lightning in a storm then lay dormant over the course of the next few years. But if a moment must be pointed by the pin, then the battering of the soul most likely began with the knowledge of good and evil-- not the day I awoke to find that I'd had my own pandorean moment, but rather the bright Sunday morning I was instructed on Eve's fatal decision and my own culpability in her ancient crime against God.

My Sunday schooling or bible literacy, began before I knew I was a self. My parents and grandparents were regular attendees of the Collinsville Mennonite Brethren Church, the German Church as it was locally known, and our family's arrival at services found us among the bodies to warm the tiny steepled building. I was cradled in the life of the church, nursed by the stories of the Bible and inculcated Christian dogma by women whose familiarity with the ancient text extended little further than Mother Goose… the Bible, of course, having been verbally transmitted, then translated, edited, retranslated, homogenized, and, like Millie, thoroughly modernized in the interim. How anyone can expect a child to hear the story of Adam and Eve in the garden with anything approaching the necessary mental acuity befuddles me even more as an adult than as a rather too gullible youngster. My Sunday school teacher, I recall, seemed never to flinch and possessed even a suspicious note of satisfaction as she recounted the tale of mankind’s fall and the wrath of God poured out on two protohumans. And of course why the teachers, who in most cultures are the personality types who ask questions, accepted the account of creation as literal is another matter altogether.

And how I was included in this momentary lapse on Eve's part is a piece of the story that is as opaque as a fog laden midnight. The Sunday school teacher's cross-examination by the inquiring minds who wanted to know was unsatisfactorily brought to a close leaving the explanation in the vast neverland of "because I said so". So why did God decided to curse all of humanity because of this one woman's failure? Who knows? The burden is there just the same. I, by default of being a human child and even worse, a daughter of Eve, had mightily sinned against God and I was fated to try and correct that wrong for the rest of my days.

This "original sin"- this ontological view of human sin coupled with the unfortunate coupling of my parents was deposited on my shoulders, a checkrein that would have a similar effect as that on the equus in Victorian England. And no less damaging.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Grieve

It was only one hour ago
It was all so different then
Nothing yet has really sunk in
Looks like it always did
This flesh and bone
It's just the way that we are tied in
But there's noone home
I grieve...
for you
You leave...
So hard to move on
Still loving what's gone
Said life carries on...
Carries on and on and on...
And on
The news that truly shocks
is the empty, empty page
While the final rattle rocks
Its empty, empty cage...
And I can't handle this
I grieve...
For you
You leave...
Let it out and move on
Missing what's gone
Said life carries on...
I said life carries on and on...
And on
Life carries on in the people I meet
In every one that's out on the street
In all the dogs and cats
In the flies and rats
the rot and the rust
In the ashes and the dust
Life carries on and on and on...
And on
Life carries on and on and on...
Life carries on and on and on...
And on
Life carries on and on and on...
Just the car that we ride in
The home we reside in
The face that we hide in
The way we are tied in
As life carries on and on and on...
And on
Life carries on and on and on...
Did I dream this belief
Or did I believe this dream
How I will find relief
I grieve...

~~Peter Gabriel


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...