Christmas?

I’m entering the fifth week of the healing of my hair-brain fracture. The cast has been on for two and a half weeks and makes the most basic actions, like typing, challenging. But still doable.

Rather like Christmas. Carl and I didn’t want to feed into the hypocrisy of Christmas this year by buyingbuyingbuying. Instead, we celebrated the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice is more in line with our beliefs. The longest night of the year celebrated with friends. The quiet beauty of the moon radiating the feminine power within us, the ebb and flow of energy around the earth, our universe and beyond. A quiet peace and holy calm.

And why should we, would we celebrate Christmas as it is today? A grotesquely commercialized celebration of a major religious figure? A religious figure who represents a religion that has justified torture, murder, rape and usury in the name of its god, and been smug and entitled about it? America’s Manifest Destiny is the basis of much of the evil this country has effected within its borders and around the world. Why ever celebrate that?

. . . As opposed to the original intention of Christmas: to love and be generous with that love. To celebrate and honor the awesomeness of a miracle. To stand awed by powers greater than we are, by nature’s grandeur and beauty. To bow low and be grateful for one’s gifts and abilities. And to wonder how best to share them, and support others?

Best intentions aside, Carl and I fell into the hypocrisy of Christmas. We might announce high and low that we aren’t celebrating Christmas but we didn’t want to end up feeling that uncomfortable feeling of being given something and having nothing to give in return. And so we shopped, buying into the falseness, rather than the deeper meaning.

Am I alone in this hypocrisy? Bring the Christ back to Christmas? Fist fights for the most popular toys? (No, that is not how I fractured my wrist.) These petty arguments distract from the heart of the matter and expose the sickness that we, as a nation, suffer.

The beauty of the concept, if not the fact, of America has been based on its acceptance of others. Here all people might have an equal chance to create a new life for themselves and their families. Isn’t that a beautiful thought? There have, of course, been scapegoats—American Indians, Africans, Italians, Irish, women, Communists. Humans oppressing humans. And yes, we have dominated, rather than stewarded, the stunning array and gifts of nature. And no religion can escape the contradiction between its practice and theory because humans get involved. But wouldn’t it be amazing if we could remember the original concept of our grand nation: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness equally to all? And to go to the heart of every religion, love.  There it is. Spread that love generously. Wouldn’t it be grand to slow down and breathe and be with that overflowing, glowing connection of love. To Be in one’s body . . . rather than racing about, going too fast in one’s monkey brain, such that one slips in one’s slippery slippers, and falls down in one’s mother’s NYC apartment, breaking a wrist?

Another ten days to go in this cast. Carl is counting, too, as he’s been doing all the dishes and listening to me whinge on and squawk every time I move my arm wrong. But I slow down. As this hell year races to its close, I sit still more often. It feels right. Every morning, I wake and watch anew the breathtaking beauty of this place. I watch the sunrise. I contemplate the restrictions of this blue cast and consider it a reminder not to get taken up by the greed and hate and distraction of our Demo-n-capitalist society but to work to return to the essence of why, in my ever-evolving opinion, we are here: to consciously experience the grandeur and shivery beauty of the world. To give and share generously, not necessarily stuff but the thing that connects us to each other and holds us together: love.