Last night I had E, Ms. XTC and BobbyP, and Wrestlerette and Wgo over for a lazy Solstice celebration. The idea was to get together and have one last relaxing evening before we all headed into each of our holiday madnesses. I had requested that everyone bring a piece of literature along the lines of the ancient Solstice celebrations themes of rejuvenation and friendship to share. I was having a really hard time finding something, so yesterday afternoon I wrote this instead. I’m posting it to pass along to all my family and friends, especially those of you that I will not get to share any time with this holiday season.
December 21, 2006
For the last two days I’ve had my nose in books looking for a response to a theme that I myself put forth, and having come up lacking, I’ve decided that no one else has the words to celebrate this evening for me but me.
I’ve often likened the intersection of time and space that is each of our lives to an airliner. Just as it leaves a contrail to mark its passage, so do we also make our own journeys, our memories our marks in the sky. And as we continue, each on our own way, we might turn a shoulder back and wonder, â€œWhere have I been? What have I done to put myself here?â€ and come to find that the further back we look, the more our vision grows weak, the past diffuses into the grey noise of the rest of the world and is lost to us as if it never was our own. To find oneself teetering on the edge of the void, unable to find any solid footing upon which to step back on as we continually hurtle forward through what we know as â€œnowâ€ can be quite uncomfortable. We have been ourselves our whole life, and yet the person we have been is being lost to us in the same instant as the person that we are now is created.
One of the earliest evidences of the Solstice celebration was to gather to help the gods â€œtame the monsters of chaos for one more year:â€ to see the darkness through to the light in the company of the ones that you hold dear. Thousands of years of more complicated tradition and ritual have come to cloud that very basic vision in many divergent ways, and it’s easy to look around, as I did yesterday on the trafficked consumer battleground that was College Drive at 6pm, and decide that the tether to that simple notion, of sharing time with the people that you care about for the sake of walking into light, has been cut.
Which is, I think, why I’ve asked you all here tonight. To sit around to eat and drink with friends is something that we do often with little thought to the deeper meaning behind it. Such was the advent of celebration, I think: to pull ourselves out of now and to be able to stop and say â€œThis is where I am, and who I’m with, for this one purpose.â€ The fact that you are here tonight means that you are a friend, and for someone who has always shot for quality over quantity, I consider myself quite lucky to have this number of quality people around me that I can call friends. I have no idea how we each got to this place: most of us have come a good many miles over a good many years to find ourselves here.
And so even as we stop and celebrate this Solstice, my little attempt to take us back to a simpler way of enjoying the holiday, â€œnowâ€ continues to march along in and around us. These days too will pass into the noise of yesterday. But whoever I am tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, I hope that with our presences and our words here tonight, we have conquered a bit of that darkness and walked together into light. It is my hope that it echoes strongly throughout each of your skies, for many days to come.
So for all of you out there in 1,0 land, here’s hoping you have a Happy Holiday and at some point I hope you find the time to share a quiet evening amongst your friends and family, free of our modern holiday craziness.