Thursday, December 16, 2010
the last christmas
saturday 25 december 2010
turners tears apart
It was 2007. The last Christmas that bore any resemblance at all to all the Christmases before it. The last Christmas that mattered. For which I still had my own way of life, and the ones who mattered to me, to whom I mattered. There was still all of our December music, and our walks, and all the pleasantness involved in the giving of gifts to each other in our home. Snow and full moons and meteors and deer were still adventures. It was a Tuesday. Christmas ended for me, in almost every way that holds significance and value, in December of 2007.
In that final December, I spent more money on us than I ever had. I did it because I could, because out of the $7000 my landlady owed me for infractions of my tenants' rights, I was given less than half. But that money made a more beneficent last Christmas for us. I also did it because of intense fear: the Department of Mental Health had for nine months done just about nothing to find a place for us, or for some of us at least, and the middle of February was our eviction date. I did it in case it was good-bye. And as it turned out, it was.
I made us more feasts that last holiday season, from November 1 to the middle of January, than I'd ever done before. Lamb and beef and turkey and pork and custards and noodle puddings and bacon and eggs, and more. And all of it was shared with the dogs and cats. The birds got vegetable feasts, and their very favorite treat, cooked pasta.
There was more music than in any holiday season ever. The CD's and homemade tapes played more often, radio shows heard and taped and heard again. And I had bought the instruments right before the holidays: the lapharp, the tin whistle, the chime rack, and the handbells. I wanted to play music for the animals myself before we ended, however poorly I might do it. I already had the keyboard and had played that off and on for years, but for our last time I wanted more.
Every snowfall those last months was precious, every candle-flame I lit a plea for this devastation not to happen. But it did.
I've said before in my blogs that I've experienced more than my share of bad luck in my life and more than my share of cruelty from other people. I've known a small number of others over the years who had had more than their share of the crap,
too, and far less than their share of the good things. What is the insulation against some of the sting of these things, what is the consolation and the comfort? Garrison Keillor provides an answer in his book Wobegon Boy:
The stream of insults that life directs at you
cannot be vanquished by skill or cunning. You
can't fight your way clear, you can't outsmart
life. The only answer is to be loved, so that
nothing else matters so much.
And even that, human beings had to take from me. The ones I loved, the ones who loved me. I wish those people nothing but an equal share of misery to the one they gave me. On Christmas, and every day.
read... Stolen stars... www.experienceproject.com (sehnen)