Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Day, 2020

 This is what I have always desired above all else: that this day should be a day like all others, a day with a morning, an afternoon, and a night, any of which might be made into anything. 

Rightly or wrongly, I've always disliked holidays: days that absolutely must be one thing and no other. They seem to me a disrespect to the world, an imposition on it that we have no right to make. Who are we to call this day Christmas, as if days were a thing to be ordered and sorted and classified by human beings? Who knows what we've lost, over the years, how many days born in the tenderest part of winter, that might have been days of learning or of loss, that have been made by brute force into days of festivity? It's hard for me to see this act of coercion as homage to Jesus of Nazareth, who came to make everything uncertain and raw-skinned and new. 

(Though he himself celebrated Pesach, and I doubt he would have had much sympathy for my desire to escape the strictures of a human life. What would I build with an unformed day, but the same old jail I build every day?)

Still. The longing for freedom reaches its peak on holidays, on the 4th of July and on Christmas. It's then that I most want to be far away from other people, far away from their anxieties and desires. Stop chattering, just for a moment, and let me think! All I want is one moment of stillness, one moment in the heart of winter, or in the heart of summer, unnamed and unnameable. 


Sabine said...

I cannot remember when we decided that we've had it with the celebrations around advent and xmas. Probably after that one year when the daughter returning home from uni tearfully insisted on a tree with all the trimmings only to vanish into the party life with her friends once the monster was up and shining.
The year after that, we set off on a three day hike in the hills, only returning for a hot shower and sleep as most places were closed and that truly was the best time, despite constant rain and sleet, far away from jingle bells and sticky puddings.

Carolee said...

exactly. a day off from expectations would be a real gift!

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

Best wishes to you and yours, and hoping for a better year in 2020!

Dale said...

Happy New Year, dear friends!