We all walk ancientrails. Welcome to the journey.

Sad

Written By: Charles - Nov• 04•20

Samain and the Moon of Radical Change (just not the kind I was hoping for)

Wednesday gratefuls: Kate, Kep, Rigel, our house on Shadow Mountain. My ancient friends, my CBE friends, Jude, Eduardo, and Holly. Undetectable cancer. Kate with little nausea over the past few days. The coming of Holiseason, reminding us that lights glow even when darkness predominates. The election. My sadness. My grief over the country I once knew. Grief is the price of love. Doubling down on my own values, my inner peace, humility.

Sad. That’s the main feeling. Sad. Humble. I’m turning in, again, any pretension I may have had to political analysis. God, was I wrong. Mostly, sad. Deeply sad. I’m 73, which means I carry some responsibility for this country. I’ve done things my whole adult life attempting to shape it toward compassion, kindness, justice, love for the other. Will not stop believing those are the necessary ingredients for a family, a city, a state, a nation, a world. But this election, no matter how the presidency turns out, has made me wonder how many of us in the U.S. still hold those values.

Fear and greed. A narrow understanding of what it means to be American, to be human. Damaged psyches that require values as fences. Those people should not marry. She should not have control over her own body. Those poor, teeming masses, yearning to be free had better damned well find somewhere other than here. People with those skin colors are dangerous. Police, protect us from them. At any cost to them you find necessary.

The light at the end of the tunnel, the one I saw, turned out to be an oncoming train. How has it come to this?

Laid awake for a bit last night. Not long. In spite of myself I had checked my phone. It was clear what was happening. I wondered how attached is my soul to our national soul? Does this rejection of what I hold close destroy me? No, I decided. I’m still the same person, still a citizen of this nation, but clearly now one of the other. Though. When I look at the raw votes, Biden is ahead by by 2,700,00. I guess there are a lot of us, maybe even a majority. But that maybe is what sears me.

I put this up on facebook, and I mean it.

My friends. All of you. I want to remain your friend after this is over. I hope that’s what we all want.
Whether you are Christian or not, this seems true to me: Gospel of Matthew 12:25, “Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto him, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (King James version).
Lincoln quoted this in his “A house divided cannot stand…” speech. We are, I think, at a moment when division could become permanent; but, I believe, with Jesus and Lincoln, that we all have to see the stark dangers if that should happen.
Let’s work to see each other, really see each other.
My fear of division remains. It will be up to both sides of the electorate to see each other. Really see.
Maybe I’ve exaggerated here, but this is my feeling on a quick reading of the results. I hope I feel better as the count goes on. I hope you do, too.

What’s Happening?

Written By: Charles - Nov• 03•20

Samain and the Moon of Radical Change

Tuesday gratefuls in post below

Midday reflections. Distracted, edgy. Finding it hard to focus. Sifting through various websites. 538. NPR. NYT. WP. Everyone’s so well, I’m not sure yet, yes he has a chance, you can’t tell what all the early voting means.

Cleaned my computer screen. Keyboard. Swept up around the computer and table. Keeping busy with thing that don’t need to be done. Now or even soon.

It’s only 1:50 pm, Mountain Standard Time. Polls are open. Ballots take marks. Get put in machines. ID’s get checked. I served several elections as an election judge in Anoka County. It’s stultifyingly boring work. Unless a problem happens. Hmmm. Can we accept the trash collectors bill as evidence of residence? No, that ballot is spoiled, you’ll have to do another. All the time sitting in metal folding chairs. After a while these old hips were not happy, especially since we had to get there before 7 am and couldn’t leave until the polls were closed, the machines tallied, and printed out. Right now there’s some old whitefella or blackfella deciding this is the last year to put up with this nonsense.

For the individual voting is or at least can be, a fraught process. Do I really have to say? Is it necessary to choose only one? What does that proposition or referendum really mean? Do I care? But it’s over in a matter of a few minutes. Unless you dither. A lot. The aggregate of all these actions is not over in a matter of minutes. Sometimes not even days, weeks, months. It was 36 days after the election that Gore conceded to Bush II. We’re in for a pins and needles moment collectively and it could last (please election gods, no!) into 2021.

Distraction quotient on the rise. It’s now 3:20 p.m. Nobody really knows what’s happening. All of us have a guess, but guesses are worse than polls. Aren’t they?

Gonna post this and go downstairs. I bought a prime rib roast for Kate and me. Baked potato, Caesar salad. Cookies. This is a celebratory meal in anticipation of Biden’s win. Kate suggested if, god forbid, Trump wins, that we have liver and onions tomorrow. Penance. If that happens, I’ll feel like liver and onions so I won’t need to ingest it. But, I don’t think it will. This will have been a prescient meal, a foreshadowing of the good about to drape itself over our Covid tattered shoulders. May it be so. Blessed be.

Lions and Tigers and Bears. Oh, my.

Written By: Charles - Nov• 03•20

Samain and the Moon of Radical Change

Tuesday gratefuls: Voters all across this land. BLT’s. Supper last night. The time change. Finally, standard time. Hello, darkness my old friend. Workout. Adding stretches. Back quieting down. The sun rising, red clouds like a Maxwell Parrish sky. Or, an old Western.

What are we to say now? The ink spilled over this day would fill even Paul Bunyan’s accountant’s ink barrels. Me, I hope Babe the BLUE Ox is on his way to D.C. to toss the red buggers out.

I’m feeling overly optimistic, unduly confident, oddly hopeful. Partly from all the early voting. Partly from, yes, the polls. Partly from a sense that voting, as it gathers our collective wills into a sharp spear, will not miss our common target, the enemy of our political system. Partly because I just plain want a Democratic victory, a blue tsunami, a wave to the future.

Most generations of human kind have lived and died in surroundings and with expectations that were familiar, often perhaps not comfortable, but at least predictable.  We have had the unique opportunity to live over an unpredictable time span. Many of you who read this were the result of the end of a World War. Our lives shaped by a desire put aside the angst of bloody Europe and the violence in Asia. The conformity of the 1950’s grew from this soil.

That worked for a while. Levittown. Oh, so, white Levittown. Those factory jobs that paid a middle-class wage. Even for folks who hadn’t finished high school. The wife at home. The kids with their lunch boxes hopping on yellow school buses. Cars made in the USofA. Also, back alley abortions, lynchings, blatant housing and employment discrimination, repressed sexuality.

Then all us kids got old enough for college. And those idiots in the White House decided to keep Southeast Asia free from Communist China’s inevitable victory there. Thousands of us died. Draft eligible. That was me. And millions of other young men. Our generations lives began to churn. Old ways got tossed out. Men and women saw each other in a different light. The established order rocked back on its heels. Then, fought back itself.

Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama, Trump. Computers. The internet. Social media. Climate change. Wildfires. Pandemic. The death of compassion. Here we are now. Looking out our lock down windows at all the people passing by, masks on, masks off, not Halloween. Scarier, much scarier than Halloween. This is real.

This is not a kumbaya moment. It’s a moment of stark reality, a moment in which it matters what you think, how you act. May it work for us all. Blessed be.

To Do List: Eliminate the Electoral College

Written By: Charles - Nov• 02•20

Samain and the Moon of the Radical Change (with the International Space Station passing close to it this morning.)

Monday gratefuls: That giving Trump bad news is finally upon us. Early voting. Alan with the Ancient Ones. The conversation about the American Way. Left over chili. With sour cream. The Queen’s Gambit. Got me interested in chess. Again. Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, it’s good. Excellent. Seeing the International Space Station this morning. Orion, Canis Major, Venus, the almost full moon of Radical Change. Wildfires, Covid, Hurricanes. The alarm system provided courtesy of Mother Nature.

I know. Me, too. Nate Silver’s I’m Here to Remind You That Trump Can Still Win. Everybody in the political and polling world has a case of low chance heebie-jeebie’s. No wonder. The Electoral College, the Democrat’s bête noire, can nullify the will of the American people. It’s possible, but not likely. Not this time. I am confident this time. I hear the Cassandra voices, but they are not Cassandra herself. 10% is still a pretty damned dismal chance for accomplishing anything. Not none, yes, it’s true. But I don’t believe God plays dice with the U.S. government twice in four years. Especially after he/she/it (deity pronouns) saw the result from 2016. So, big guy in the sky lean on the levers this time and give us a blue tsunami.

The Electoral College is, of course, doing what it was designed to do. Give the rural states a way to compete with California, New York, Texas, Florida. This same intention of the founders plays out in the Senate as well. South Dakota has two senators, so does New York. You can see the plantation holder mentality in both. Sure, democracy relies on the will of the people, but it has to be tempered by – geography? Type of main industry? Willingness to use slavery or very cheap migrant labor to scare up a profit? The big city is trouble. Lots of bad stuff goes on in them. Even a thing back in 1776.

It is true that the rate of urbanization has accelerated. As the website link shows, humans lived in low density rural populations for most of human history. It was only in 2007 that global urban populations exceeded those living in rural areas. By 2050 though the estimate is 2/3’rds will call a city home. The rural bias of the founders conforms to a rural/urban split that was around 1 person in a city for every 20 living in a rural setting in 1790. It was only in 1907 that the U.S. went over the 50% line of citizens living in cities. Right now we’re 80% urbanized. That trend will increase.

The world of the founders is no longer the world of today. We’ve outlawed slavery. The franchise extends well past white, male, property owners to almost every adult except felons. Ours is a consumer economy and has not for a long time been an agricultural one. So much so that 80% of us live in urban areas. The nation goes from shore to shore, Atlantic to Pacific. Our population has grown from 2,100,000 in 1770 to well over 300,000,000 today.

IMHO. It’s time to get our method of selecting a President in line with these realities. Well past time, actually. If you used the logic of, let’s be sure rural, agricultural states get maximum chances at representation since that’s what we’re like now (1776), the solution should now to be enhance the representation of urbanized areas. But that seems wrong to me. Let’s go with the popular vote. After all, that’s how every other office in the land gets decided.

Watch Him Go Away!

Written By: Charles - Nov• 01•20

Samain and the Moon of Radical Change

Sunday gratefuls: Pork loin chops from Tony’s. Butternut Squash. Rigel’s most excellent appetite. Kate’s infirmities quieting. The coming election. Throwing the bum out. Jon’s gate for the loft stairs. To protect Rigel from herself. Addiction. Never resolved, always lurking. The Trumpeter. The American Way. The American Dream.

A better week for Kate. Much, much less nausea. Stoma site looking good. Her smile. Buoys me.

Yet. When we talked yesterday about how we were, she said, “I feel sequestered.” Covid. And, her stamina. We realized, as I alluded to earlier, that weeks with several appointments wear her out. A lot. So, we’ll try to do no more than one a week for her. Her stamina makes even going for a ride an energy draining experience. With CBE’s in person activities limited and our own high risk category for Covid, that outlet won’t work. Jon had to come home from school due to an “exposed” first grader, an incident two weeks ago, but only discovered on Thursday. This is the already making the news holiday conundrum. Can we even see those we love?

Since I added back in resistance work last week, after cataract surgery made me stop for a month, my writing on Jennie’s Dead got lost. Trying to figure out how to make my days work is always a challenge for me. Not new. But, problematic again. Most of the issue is how to use morning hours.

Saw Dr. Eigner on Friday, my urologist/oncologist. I get a new PSA every three months, but now see him in six months. If I come up undetectable for several, I don’t know how many, I’ll return to every six month PSA’s. He said it could even go up as long as it doesn’t go beyond .2, .3, .4. Somewhere in there. Then they would still follow me. If it drifts up, as it did in February 2019, treatment will start again. I left his office feeling good. Cancer as a chronic disease.

The election. I’m going to buy a steak and fixings for Tuesday or Wednesday. Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the election returns. Yeah, I’m exposing myself to the downside of even bridled optimism. I feel ok though. 10% is a chance, a legitimate chance, yes, Nate. But, it’s not much of a chance. We must delete our President. Put him in the trash. Excoriate and damn him. Arrest him and imprison him. An actively evil person. Yes, I’m stoking the culture wars with these comments, but what the hell? It’s true.

We are the people of Holiseason!

Written By: Charles - Oct• 31•20

Samain and the Full, Blue Moon of Radical Change

Saturday gratefuls: Dr. Eigner. Undetectable PSA. The Great Wheel. Taoism. All us pagans. Samain. The fallow season. Holiseason. Darkness. A return, however brief, to time sanity. The big snow that tamped down the Cameron and East Troublesome fires. The American Way. The American Dream.

Samain. Again. The Celtic New Year. The Great Wheel turned now for a full orbit around the sun since last Samain. Though I embraced the Jewish New Year in September, 5781, as a way out of 2020, it never seemed to stick. That is, 2020 kept crashing back over the dike of even as ancient a tradition as that one. Gonna try again.

The Celtic New Year puts the beginning of a new year at the beginning of the fallow time. Samain in ancient Gaelic means Summer’s End. In the most ancient Celtic calendar that we have, the Celts recognized two seasons. Beltane, now on May 1st, marked the season of fertility, growth, harvest. Samain, now on October 31st, is the final harvest holiday. The growing season finished villages prepared for the difficult time of year to come, a cold time when people lived off their stores. Interesting to me that the Celts chose such a time for their New Year.

The veil thins during this time, the veil between this world and the Other World. The Other World is the land of Faery, the land of the Gods, the land of the dead. The thinned veil meant ancestors could cross back into this world, as could the Faery folk. Since the Faery folks sometimes kidnapped children and ancestors could be ornery, it was a scary transition from growing season to the fallow time.

Contracts ended or began during the Samain market week as they did for each of the Celtic holidays: Beltane, Lughnasa, Samain, and Imbolc. Always a festive time of year Samain like the others, saw trading and feasting, late night dancing around bonfires, visiting family. The Celts also celebrated the two equinoxes and the two solstices: Ostara, Midsommar, Mabon, and Yule with market weeks.

Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophist, and radical thinker of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, says Michaelmas, the Saint Day for the Archangel Michael, September 29th, is the “springtime of the soul.” Along with the Jewish New Year which always falls near the same time, we’re encouraged to go deep into our selves. I marry this idea to the increasing darkness, the gradual lengthening of the night that began at Midsommar and reaches its maximum at Yule, on the Winter Solstice. Samain invites us to not only go inside, but to also open ourselves to that Other World, the Unseen One, that lies just out of sight. Might be a multiverse, might be a dimension not understood by science or reason.

The Great Wheel teaches us about the link between our inner journey and the seasonal changes. The seasonal changes themselves can teach us about the world beyond our lived reality. We can avert our attention from the screens and pages and indoor rooms of our lives and take our attention out of doors. We can wonder what lies beyond that mountain, beneath that lake.

It teaches us Covid too shall end. And, makes us aware as well, that it will both end and return again. Though I hope we don’t have to have another Trump. Please. Don’t make authoritarianism and rampant stupidity laced into cupidity a renewing moment. Please.

Holiseason begins now. The term is not mine-I found it in the Oxford English Dictionary-but I apply it to the time between today, Samain, and January 6th, the Epiphany, the day after the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Holiseason includes so many, many holidays: Samain, Thanksgiving, Divali, Hanukah, Advent, Posada, Winter Solstice, Yule, New Years Day, Boxing Day, Kwanza. Add ones that you know.

We bathe ourselves in light and darkness, spend time with family, often giving them gifts. Holiseason is a time to sing songs, make the tables groan with food, decorate the house, the city, the nation, hug friends and family, acknowledge all the ancient spiritual trails we follow,  cue ourselves in to the soul’s journey, move deep into the caverns of our own inner life.

If you open yourself to its richness, holiseason will alert you to the fullest potential in yourself and those you love. It will remind you that the whole globe seeks for wisdom, for love, for light. Traditions come alive in song, in movies, in books. Poetry. We need not despair, even with Trump, even with Covid, even with hurricanes and wildfires. We are the people of the Holiseason. Joyous. Alert. Loving. Singing. Diving deep into our own souls to turn them inside out and know others through them. Blessed be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1968 – 2020

Written By: Charles - Oct• 30•20

Fall and the Moon of Radical Change

Friday gratefuls: Kate’s good week. Rigel’s returned appetite. Her getting on the bed last night, a bit wobbly, but there. Kep. So dignified and attentive. The sweetness of our life together. The approaching election. Ahi tuna from Tony’s. Pickup from Safeway. Covid, still changing our culture, our lives, our visions of the future. Climate change and those who work to limit and mitigate it. The Sun.

Kate’s had a week of no nausea, no appointments. A wonder. And, wonderfull. We’ve pushed into new territory, goaded from behind by Covid and being together. A greater appreciation for each other, for our, as Jim Harrison’s poem says, “…life of dogs and children and the far wide country
out by rivers, rumpled by mountains.” Carpe Diem. Thanks, Tom.

Brother Mark asked me to think about now and 1968. “Have the changes of 2020 been different from 1968?” It’s an interesting question. Both, I believe are capstones of an era. 1968 found many of us who were young throwing off the post-WW II culture of conformity, working and not thinking, easy racism and easy wars. Sex was not forbidden. Make love not war was more than just a slogan. It was a lifestyle. We were angry young folks, too. The war. The draft. In loco parentis. (look it up) We found protesting the war both necessary and liberating. See Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 on Netflix.

2020. Protests now seem to come in two flavors: Black Lives Matter and their allies, Proud Boys, the Klan, and their allies. There was some pushback in the 60’s from blue collar workers and straight parents, but for the most part the protests were anti-war in nature though the civil rights movement still had some energy after a hard, but productive first few years of the 60’s. A major difference now is that the alt-right impulses of the 60’s, and they were there, were seen as fringe and cuckoo. Now, with the agitator in chief the fringe has cover in the Whitehouse. That makes them think they are less fringy now. They’re wrong.

I have a lot of other thoughts and I know this is cursory, but I want to post it today. Get back on the board.

 

 

 

Art: A Post About Grief

Written By: Charles - Oct• 29•20

Fall and the Moon of Radical Change

Thursday gratefuls: Kevin at Ionos. Both hands. Keyboards. Learned fingers. This blog. Kate. Our talk yesterday morning. Her bandages and her 02 concentrator going back home. Kep, the sweet boy. Rigel, the yipper. Orion and Venus. Follow the arc to Arcturus. The Big Dipper, follow the pointer stars to Polaris. Bright Sirius. The steady polls. The coming change. May it be radical, thorough, and lasting.

It’s good to be back. Solving the security feature, see the https/ at our url now, either created or coincided with another, bigger problem. Using up more space than my account at my webhost allows. Various attempts by myself and Kevin at Ionos were unsuccessful. Until yesterday afternoon. Sigh. Anyhow, we should be good. I realized over the dark period that I’ve been writing Ancientrails for 15 years, an anniversary that fell in February just when Gertie was dying and Covid had begun to make itself known. Distracted.

Anyhow, here’s a post I wrote in Word, then I’m going to do another for today. So, two posts today.

 

Art. A sad story. Ancient friend Paul Strickland named beauty as the theme for our Sunday morning. Mark Odegard included elegance, grace, and fully realized potential in his definition. Bill talked about the beauty of the human face. Tom showed a favorite piece of art, a swirly sand sculpture with gold on the inside. Paul surprised even himself I think by talking about a beautiful death. His hospice client since January died the day before.

“Truth is beauty, beauty truth, that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know.” Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn. Where I began.

We often go to the visual when we think of beauty and  the visual artist, the designer among us, Mark, was the most clear about it. The rest of us went in varied directions but I underlined, first, the beauty of knowledge, of theorems, of proofs, of science, mathematics. Truth is beauty.

In 2000 I became a guide at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts. Guides got training for specific galleries. My first one was Latin America, I think. Then, Native America. South and Southeast Asia. In 2005 a new docent class. I was in it. All those years the MIA offered continuing education for guides and docents on Monday mornings.

We would come into the quiet museum, closed to the public on Monday’s, and listen to art historians talk about painting, sculpture, Asian art. Perhaps a curator talking about a new exhibit they planned. Or, a rearranging of the galleries in their field. Trends in art, both older and contemporary. It was wonderful. I sucked in the knowledge, filling up two five-inch-thick notebooks with sketches and notes, quotes, my own ideas. A joyous time.

But not even the best part of Mondays. The best part came after the continuing education was done. The museum allowed us to stay in the galleries if we wanted, wandering from here to there in the long rooms filled with Renaissance paintings, or Impressionists. Van Gogh. Beckman. Copley. Homer. Goya.

No one from the public. A few museum staff cleaning objects, hanging or installing new works. Otherwise. Quiet. Peaceful.

The Asian galleries drew me, a long-time fascination with the art and cultures of Asia getting fed. The Japanese tea sets, a Buddha sculpture, the Ferragana stallions in metal. Song dynasty ceramics and paintings. The lonely Taoist scholar resting by a giant waterfall.

Goya. His Dr. Arrieta. Ghosts from his past lingering in the background as he sank, exhausted from illness into the arms of his physician. Rembrandt. The Lucretia. Her blouse stained by blood from the knife of her suicide.

The wonderful colors and fanciful shapes of the Kandinsky. That haunting Francis Bacon of a pope with his mouth wide, wide open.

So much. So much. I could, and often did, stay for hours, alone.

In writing this I realize how lucky I was. Those days are with me still. But. That is not what I communicated on Sunday morning. Paul said, “You seemed to feel a longing, a yearning…”

That shocked me a little. Grief, someone suggested. Yes, it is true. I have been unable to find in my life since then, since the museum changed the day of the continuing education, since I quit in 2012, no longer willing to make the winter drive in from Andover, a way to be intimate with art.

A great sadness. I have tried various things. I look at art on the internet and good images are easy to find. I read art books, ones I bought over those years. I paint myself, in oils and in sumi-e. The quiet, the prayerful, the devotional relationship I had with objects at the MIA? No. Not available anymore.

Grief is the price of love. I grieve my lost mother, seventeen dogs, Kate’s shattered health, and, yes, I grieve those moments, those hours. Still. Probably always.

 

 

OK. Ancientrails is Back!

Written By: Charles - Oct• 28•20

I have been working with Ionos, my web host, to resolve a security issue, fixed right away, then some other problem that was more intractable.

It seems we’ve sorta solved it and I can get back to working. I’ve missed you and will have new posts up soon.

Oh, I See

Written By: Charles - Oct• 25•20

Fall and the Moon of Radical Change

Sunday gratefuls: Snow. 8 degrees. More Snow, more Cold drooping down from the north, screaming in later from the west. Rigel and Kep. Kate. Our dialogue about doing things together. A warmer day yesterday. Happy Camper. Safeway. Ruby.

A light Snow, crystalline, falls outside. The temperature has dropped to 6 degrees. We are in a belt, once again, that could get up to 12-14 inches. Any amount of Snow and cold comes as a relief, not only here on Shadow Mountain, but also for those affected by the East Troublesome Fire and the Cameron Fire, well north of us, up in the Rocky Mountain National Park part of the state. I hope it’s enough to douse them, or at least bring them under control.

My favorite coffee mug has the Polar Express on it. I got it when Kate and I took then 7 year old grandson Gabe to an evening on board a Christmas train. He remarked, “We don’t celebrate this!” and huffed at the whole production. I got mad. Couldn’t he back off and enjoy the elves coming through with hot chocolate? Nope.

Gabe is not an observant Jew, even now several years later at the age of 12. But, he held fast that night. I admire it. I can say that now, but then, I thought, you ungrateful little killjoy!

You see this coming, right? What was really going on there? I loved Christmas. I loved the Polar Express. I did not associate it with Christianity by that point, but Gabe certainly did. Christmas is the great temptation for Hanukkah kids. Partly why Jewish children do so well at Hanukkah these days in terms of presents. Look! We have 8 days, they only have one night.

Not Christmas. Nope, Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel. Not Silent Night. No Christmas Tree. No Santa Claus. No The Night Before Christmas. A clear demarcation line between them and us. Kate and I that night were them. Gabe defended his faith and his culture. Again, good for him.

Fast forward to a Hanukkah at our house a year or so later. My knee replacement had just happened. I was home but medicated, morphine. Big pain.

As Ruth and Gabe went through the stack of presents on the coffee table, I was hit with a sudden wave of despair. What was I doing here? Why was I celebrating Hanukkah? I’m a Christmas guy. How did I let myself get into this?

The same kind of holiday dysphoria, I think, that Gabe experienced on the Polar Express. Huh. What goes around, comes around.

Since that moment, which passed as the morphine went away and the knee healed, I’ve realized the exasperated finger needed to point back at myself. Both incidents indicated a deep longing, a childhood longing, for a holiday I knew as mine.

I love Santa Claus, twinkling lights, hot chocolate, candy canes. And, yes, the Christmas Tree. I don’t love the hassle of the Christmas Tree or the materialistic orgy. No. That was easy to leave behind. What are the presents for anyhow? Proof of love? What kid needs that? Or, at least, what kid should need that?

The whole mishmash of mistaking parental love for the giving of gifts let me walk away from Christmas. Kate helped of course because she got tired of decorating MY Christmas Tree. Can’t blame her for that.

I don’t need the whole crass side of Christmas. Neither do you, I imagine. Maybe nobody does.

But. Boy, do I need the songs and the lights and all that stuff about Santa and the North Pole. And, the Tree. This year I’m going to pick a Lodgepole in our yard as my Christmas Tree. No, I’ll not cut it down. Maybe I’ll find a living Evergreen Tree to have inside, a small one.

Its that Evergreen connection that makes religious sense. Evergreen, a resurrected God. See? I’ll continue this, but I want to post now, so I can get breakfast before my time with the ancient ones.