As Christmas day and the close of 2010 approaches we slow down for a moment and ponder what it’s all about, why we put up with what we do and conversely what it is that we are so grateful for and wish to experience. For some of you it’s been a tough year, for others an exceptional year and for the world collectively one could argue a completely beguiling one where we have been forced to accept changing cultural dialectics, the dissonance of haphazard events and the seething feeling that sometimes things are just beyond us…
From the increasing divide between the haves and the have nots, the continued denigration of our civil liberties, the contempt of those who seem to act without regard for the collective (conversely the admiration for those who have inspired us and improved our lot) and the spiraling information wars that tell us what to think, feel, shop and aspire for. And yet what did we expect?
In times like these I’m often reminded of the great author/playwright Samuel Beckett, chiefly his seminal play- ‘Waiting for Godot.’ Like Vladimir and Estrogen, the principal rogues who try to make do with their uncertain lot, agree on where the mystical Godot (swap in your favorite mythical deity, celebrity, media whore, protege, politico, talking head, father figure, celestial hero, etc) said it was where we were to meet, was it by this brush of trees (swap in your preferred goal post- lamp post, lamp shade, get away destination, try and repeat, mighty mall , sand dune or baby major)- and yet they never do agree and nor does the aforementioned Godot ever arrive. And yet we remain standing, marveling, exhaling, contemplating what to do next- because that simply is our collective nature…
So once again we gather to share in the holiday spirit, our arms full of gifts, gesture, remonstrations suggestions, affectations. And as most of us will sit this Christmas day with loved ones, friends, or even complete strangers we will attempt to enjoy and accept each other, seek to inspire, motivate, cajole, implore and propel one another to that dizzy space in our mind called fate, love, friendship and destiny.
Some of us will run with snowflakes, others with surfing boards, as had been my own tradition as a young boy growing up in the Southern hemisphere. And in the end, most of us will be free to do as we wish and will, even if it seems such opportunities are not always there. We must seek to engender them and inspire them.
This Xmas, I’m wishing for a greater humanity, empathy, energy, and even some sanity. Most of all like you I am wishing for my ability to retain my humanity and the ability to be touched by things that don’t always make sense even if we ought to think they must. That after all is what my mathematics teacher once taught me. But ultimately it’s what we can teach ourselves and others around us.
Me- this Christmas- I’m wishing for a good bottle of red wine, the pristine reflection of midnight lights and the company of my fellow mankind- even if we sometimes don’t know where we are going or who or what we really are waiting for.
Let’s hope this Xmas we find the energy to inspire, give back and rejoice-even with that stranger whom you never knew existed. After all – that stranger is so often just the reflection of the uncertain strange things we feel inside of us.
Which way should we go? Any which way your soul wants, that after all is the beauty of civilization and mankind. Let’s just hope we agree on where to all meet after the wine goblets have been put away. Amen.