December 1, 2012: Holiday Thoughts, Part I

“At this time of year I find myself falling into a condition that I like to call Infectious romanticus or Sentimentalicous irrationalico.” Lewis Black

Yep, it doesn’t matter what I do trying to stop it, it’s sentimental tsunami time. I won’t go into all the reasons why this is so over the years other than to say sometimes the sentimentality is born of great feelings and sometimes not. This year is a bit grey and a bit blue.

Sometimes grey is great. It’s grey today as in it looks like rain. We happen to need it so grey is welcome. In this kind of case, grey can help turn things to green, as in plants coming to life.

Sometimes grey sucks. It’s also that kind of grey today—you know the kind when it doesn’t matter how hard you work, you just seem to get further behind. In such a case, grey can help turn things to blue, as in blue moods coming to bear.

So, despite or in spite of it all, I’ll muse here a bit about greys and greens and blues and it will turn out how it turns out. After all, I’ve noticed over the years that writing seems to do me much more than I do writing.

I gave a presentation last week. It seemed unbelievably timely. It was about unlearning and neurology. I had a few good slides, some good quotes, some nice points. I thought. It turns out I might as well have been spreading the flu. This is pretty much how it’s been going for a while, which is a bit nerve wracking, though I still seem to keep going, even though it felt like grey going to blue.

Isn’t this is the time of the year when we are supposed to be reaching out to each other like plants to the sun? I’m not claiming the territory much less saying such territory is everywhere, but it seems like there’s so much fear. I find myself wanting to say so much to a few folks, but it seems like talking through closed doors. I wonder if they feel the same. There’s something good that can come of it—I’m getting real close to not caring about strict protocols and saying what I feel like without much regard for the consequences. Yeah, yeah—there’s always consequences, and interpretations, but sometimes taking the measure of things puts out the fire. I need some fire, not some more measurements. Don’t we take measurements to build something? What’s the point otherwise?

Gender relationships! What in the world? Okay, enough said.

Politics! Already too much said.

In either case, the Holidays are a time to reach across the aisle. I recently heard the difference between academics and politics was politicians were friendly behind closed doors and full of vitriol in public while academicians were friendly in public and full of vitriol behind closed doors. I wondered about politics and learning in gender relationships. I suspect friendly and vitriolic could be plotted on a time curve with friendly ruling in both the public and private settings at first and vitriol ruling in both areas later. Maybe I’m cynical. Well, a tad realistic as well, you think?

How about if we used the Holiday season to practice honesty? Well, at least practice it consciously as we are all clearly being honest if one knows how to see it. Instead, we manage perceptions—trying to get others to see our interpretations. Back to the eyes and ears arguing when they both contribute. What if our job was to do the best we can to describe reality as we see it, and then to listen?

I suppose our interpretation of love or belongingness has something to do with it—including longing for that love or belongingness. Do we think both are homogenized? Are we so fragile that another’s different sense of love or belongingness feels like neither at all? It seems like a case of having to give it up. It seems like a case of having to take it up. And it is not the case that either giving it up or taking it up lies in only one politician, one academician, or one gender—it’s a reciprocal issue.

It’s the season for love, for belongingness, for reciprocity. Give it up, take it up, switch it up. That’s the glorious dance. It’s a dance folks like me are still learning. We need to take and get a break. We need it. I know I certainly do. So, let’s give the grey-turning-to-blue a break and go let the rain fall and the bloom of us reach out.

Yep, it’s total cornball. That’s one of the many side effects of Infectious romanticus or Sentimentalicous irrationalico.

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