Holiday Thoughts, Part II

Who decides when the applause should die down? It seems like it’s a group decision; everyone begins to say to themselves at the same time, “Well, okay, that’s enough of that.” George Carlin

The Holidays will be over soon enough and the applause, such as it was, will die down and we’ll all forget about the attack of infectious romanticus and sentimentalicous irrationalico. However, I have it on good authority that the infection simply hides in the central nervous system where the immune system cannot get to it, waiting for the opportunity to attack again. In any case, I’m still flush with the infection, so consider this a biohazard warning.

My adult children are a major gift. And for the third Holiday year, I’ve got a grandson added to the mix. No matter what tsunami is coming, there is a part of me that smiles. As usual, I will tell them all. Sometimes they even listen.

There are women I have loved deeply. It is not over and will not be. There is no pretending, even if there is hiding. As usual, even during the Holidays, I may not be able to speak truly. It doesn’t matter, I don’t think they actually listened anyway.

The difference in loving my children and loving these women is in the breathing. Around my children I mostly breathe deeply. When loving women, I mostly tend to lose my breath. I’m hoping my children don’t cause me to lose my breath. I’m hoping a woman will help me find my breath.

As a man, I think it would be wonderful if I could give these women a little shortness of breath as well, and not because they are pissed. So far it’s like they know how to breathe and are glad when I don’t. Apparently love has to be carefully controlled. Personally I’ve never found that to be true. I’ve never chosen love, only to hang around it or not.

As you may recall, I work in the educational system. It’s an education, though often not about education. I’m also involved in the politics of education. As it turns out, that’s not about education either.

The other day, while trying to stimulate a class discussion, other students were in the hallway talking loudly like it was their last chance to speak and be heard. Finally I went outside and let them know there were classes in session. Apparently this was lost on them though they were in a building full of classrooms. A couple of them were snarky, like I was messing with their life. I wondered if they had a job and where so I could avoid the place, especially if it was a restaurant.

Have you ever wondered why some folks can get mad about the rules of civility? Apparently it’s a reminder about how laws are an infringement on their freedom. Apparently freedom means zero infringement—when it comes to them anyway. Apparently civility means others need to give such folks a wide berth. You can be sure I’m doing the best I can.

Why is it that folks can come together when there is a disaster, yet without a disaster we can’t seem to come together much at all? Let’s call that a disaster so we can come together—after all, it is a disaster.

Have you ever noticed there’s always an awareness—however vague—that there is something “beyond” our station? You know how much trouble that has created? In some folks it’s created Lewis Blacks’ infectious romanticus or sentimentalicous irrationalico. In those cases, I wonder when the self-congratulatory applause will die down. In other folks, such awareness has created infectious fearicus or malicicous irrationalico. In those cases, I just hope to stay out of the theater.

There must be something non-sarcastic to write. There is hope in the world, right? Joy? Love? Of course there is. Just not enough in some cases and too much in other cases. Well, most of us are Purgatorians, so what’s there to expect? And while it seems pretty funny for Purgatorians to celebrate Holidays in the first place, at least there is that vague awareness of something to celebrate. So even if we come off like drunken monkeys trying to figure out how to make music with all the instruments of celebration we found lying around, we can also be kind of cute at the same time—at least for a few precious moments. So let’s take a moment for a little applause, before we say to ourselves, “Well, okay, that’s enough of that” and we get back to the work and world of nitpicking, sometimes punctuated by very real moments of grace.

So, to the Holidays and to giving the usual a break. Here’s to grace. Here’s to us. Here’s to both together for as long as we can stand it—may it be a little longer than usual.

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