Monday, January 01, 2007

I Am a Woman of My Word

People move to tropical locations for a reason: sunny weather means that you do not have to face the emptiness in your own life. Alaskans, Canadians, and all others who brave the netherworld (any latitude below 35 degrees south or above 35 degrees north) are quickly forced to take stock of their inner darkness*, and to either overcome or succumb to it.

In Southern California, January to mid-November provides an external atmosphere of sun, heat, and calm that is available to anyone. Thanksgiving brings the punctual arrival of the unexpected: cold darkness. People are forced indoors, where they wander around without a sweater or socks, exclaiming to their freezing family members that they don't remember the last time they were this cold. Depression begins to hover as all memories of warm, good times disappear. Suddenly, there is only one answer for the impending gloom: it's time to celebrate this magical time known as "the holidays."

This year, celebration of the holidays couldn't wait until Thanksgiving ended; the darkness came earlier. My neighbors at the end of the street** hired their gardeners to hang pink lights on their palm trees in mid-November. ("Darkness?! What darkness?! Our happiness this winter can only be expressed in the color pink!!") Our local disco radio station began playing Christmas carols on Thanksgiving as a reminder that there was no need to panic because the holidays were already upon us.

My favorite Christmas carol is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," because it invokes such a heavy feeling of nostalgia. The only problem is that I do not feel nostalgia for any of my own Christmases. I'm carried away to memories of being cozy inside a warm, brick house as snow whirls around outside, and I am handed a long, rectangular gift by a kind member of my fake-Christmas-memory family. No offense to my real family, but my fake family wears long, cable knit sweaters and doesn't ask me to help clean up the house. I tend to think that the Christmas nostalgia felt by most people doesn't even belong to them. Face the darkness, people. You're going to be fine.

*Inner darkness: the unknown depths of one's soul, good or bad, kept covered for fear of what could be uncovered. Examples of what may be uncovered: memories, tendencies, habits, fears, coping mechanisms, obsessions with dance movies, allergies to Celtic music, etc.

**I assume I have neighbors at the end of the street. I have never seen them, but their lawn stays watered.


Blogger Aaron Byrd said...

Welcome back.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Great to have you back. Happy New Year.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous aviva said...

we've missed you (i'm taking the liberty of speaking for all lh-rm readers)... ditto on what brian said. xoxo, aviva

ps - if this shows up a bunch of times, not my fault. damn computers.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I danced a little jig when I saw you were back.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

about fucking time...


2:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home