For the first time in my five years here in Nevada, the Yuletide has had a joyous feel. Not that the locals have brightened up the Mojave with glitter and approaches which correspond to the merriment derived from the period’s significance. After all, it remains bizarre seeing Christmas lights decorating palm trees. Continue reading The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
One aspect of our society we should hope never succumbs to speed, convenience or economy is the habit of exchanging Christmas cards. The real paper ones sealed inside envelopes, bearing stamps, and dropped in mailboxes.
Unlike the rotary phone, black & white televisions, and phonographs, inventions that became consumer goods which progress raced by and rendered obsolete, printed cards delivered via surface mail, bearing stamps, contained in covers carrying the sometimes nearly indecipherable scrawls of well-meaning senders who held the recipients in worthy esteem, are worthwhile remnants of our less instantaneous time.
They reflected humanity. Ours. Continue reading Christmas Prisms
“There but for the grace of God go I.”
Who hasn’t at least heard John Bradford’s phrase? Usually uttered by some drip who believes he or she avoided catastrophe by the skin of his or her teeth, but actually missed misfortune by miles.
Now that I reside in Las Vegas, Bradford’s expression bears zero currency. Maybe when I lived back East one could’ve spoken or thought such in true, though heightened, honesty. There, fate at its most capricious could’ve convinced the devout that disembodied powers managed their destinies.
Here, personal calamities are manmade. Often after heedless headlong rushes. (Guess what topic I’ll occasionally bear down on through 2014.)
Decades ago during an particularly bereft of cheer Christmas season, a bunch of us congregated. In a bar. Oh, without a doubt.
With severe apologies to Andre Gide …
Does distance improve perception? Well, in my case perhaps 2400 miles have clarified a few escapades.
Relocated now to Las Vegas (too early to claim “settled”), several scenes and the actors upon those now far away New York stages stalk under brighter light. Those acts having concluded years ago, they can today be reckoned through lengthy contemplation.
Nothing has prepared me for the last two years. Disruption. Demise. Dislocation. Ready for such life occurrences as we swear, aren’t we forever caught out by these upheavals? Maneuver as best we can, coping is the best one can hope.
Sometimes simplicity is the best provocation.
This season means card exchange. Or should mean it. Email and the erosion of cursive script are turning paper Christmas cards into museum pieces.
Old-fashioned and time consuming as more and more of us regard them, Christmas cards are always welcome at this address. Their reception indicates a thought and care an e-card blast will never convey. Continue reading The Paper Madeleine