It’s a mess we try to clean up every year by wrapping surprises in foil to ensure their beneficence, since most of the surprises we’re bound to receive in life aren’t beneficial. It’s a mess we try to illuminate by stringing lights against the dark. It’s a mess we enjoin by singing, “let it snow,” when there’s not a damned thing we can do about it. In point of fact, most of what we deal with in life is cleaning up after the fact, sorting the collection of junk that accumulates into piles that are re-distributed with ever-decreasing efficiency. By the end of the year, we’ve had it. Our processes have oxidized; the stars have shifted; the continents are drifting, and at least half the projects on our to-do lists are no closer to finished than when we wrote them down in October. We need a break. And so we take it.
All of the criticisms recycled about Christmas in America are probably true. We all know them, and believe or disbelieve them as we are inclined. Don’t get me wrong; there’s a lot to be wary of, but I’m after something else. Something short, because it’s midnight where I am, and the hour risks spoiling the holiday’s delicate alchemy. Still there’s something to say, because sometimes at the end of a long year, it’s hard to imagine what spring looks like, all long-legged and green–let alone summer’s confident languor. It’s easy to forget that things travel in waves, when most of the time we’re weighed down by particulars.
And so, here it is, my offering to those who have found me rambling into the early morning hours. In the deep of winter, four days after the sun has reversed its long dying and begun to rise sooner, stay longer, we recall that the mess of clouds which have been accumulating all year will fizzle and fade. Thinned by the sun, the light will burn them to wind. But the light won’t stop there. It will burn everything. Even time, like water, will evaporate on its forever-wave. And really, though it’s hard to remember, buried as we are in the world, everything is just light under the various sways of gravity, and gravity is just the density of bodies in rapture, and rapture is just the madness of love, and the madness of love is the reason of creation.
Merry Christmas, everybody!