|Fog rolling in to my front yard.|
I'm chugging along, minding my own business when wham, out of nowhere, comes black December. A month I despise.
It wasn't always like this. Or maybe it was. Every year, it just seems to get a little more bleak, a little more sad as it hoves around the corner and up the driveway and into my house. It's clever. Like a fog. It pours into the corners and stays there. Making faces. Reminding me. I used to drink my way through it. For many, many years now I've "done" it stark raving sober.
This time of the year I see an abused dog in a news story and I bawl my eyes out. That dog in Chicago shot by a policeman? Did my head in.
And babies, hurt babies. Have to jerk past the headline to avoid a catastrophic collapse of my emotions.
Even poor old pregnant Queen Kate in the hospital? Good for a five minute weep. I couldn't care two whigs for the monarchy, But a stranger's pain? Let the floodgates roll away.
My father died in a December. My closest friend of the time did also. In our family car. And worst of all, really, it's my estranged daughter's birthday. She was named for my dead friend. I don't know how many years she's been gone, I deliberately don't count them as the length of the chasm would probably astonish me. And make it worse.
Let me say it loud and clear. I don't like Christmas. I'm not in humbug status, just apathetic about everyone's jolly homes all posted on Facebook with the lights strung everywhere and this year it looks like pink and gold trees - whoa, nelly! - and last minute runs to Walmart for Chinese gifty tat. I like Solstice and would celebrate that in Toronto, but here there is nothing of secularism and paganism. That I can find anyway.
I've nowhere to run away to. One of my clan goes to Egypt every year to escape it. (I know, Egypt?!)
But he manages the annual Great Escape quite well. We discuss the ghosts of Christmas Past together. And there were many. And try to extract a modicum, a soupcon, of happiness out of it all. And can't.
A couple of bahs you might call us. And you're entitled. And chin up and chest out advisories? It just seems to make it worse.
So yeah, I'll let it flatten me like a steamroller.
And the one great cheering thought I have is that I know I am not alone..
Here's your pal. My father died on 27th Dec '81. It had been a long slow & difficult exit. For years I put a face on the festivities for Elly & Jack, but nowadays I am best left alone.ReplyDelete
When my day turns to monochrome at this time of year, I dare not go in the bedroom or I want to crawl in under the duvet. Instead I close up the curtains and switch on bright lights. It helps me.
Thanks GM! My favourite aunt died Christmas Eve as well, thus lending a pall to another section of the clan and me.ReplyDelete
I've tried to beat the thing out of me, but I just get worse so now rolling with it is what is best for me. I have to watch my mouth so tend to retreat.
I have a batch of unfinished tasks all over the house, can't seem to shift the brain to complete them.
A good book is in order to get me out of here.
We'll keep in touch!
It looks so desolate and damp, and lonely. I'm not a fan of Christmas either. Not a Grinch, but just repelled by the materialism of it all. So sad for you about your daughter. I can see, with my own, how it could happen. My mother and I were not estranged, but a tiny push further and we could have been. As it was, I did the cliche thing after she died and regretted not having known her better, not having stayed in better touch, not having said things I could have said had I been a bigger hearted person. I did learn from my, mistakes though. Now when something nice occurs to me about someone, I don't keep it to myself. I figure tell 'em now. Tomorrow might already be too late. Too late for my mum though, unless the nuns were right...ReplyDelete
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My mother died young, Molly and I don't think I've ever recovered from it. My dad and I were as you put it so well - "a tiny push further" and we would have been estranged.ReplyDelete
Estrangement is a theme in my family of origin running back a few generations and maybe further still, lost in the mists of time.
Reinforced by this season of Family, capital F.
Very lonely for a lot of us.
I,too, dread that month, the only really wonderful aspect is the midwinter solstice and we will have a little bonfire abd eat soup with friends and take deep breath because it will get brighter again. Two more weeks...ReplyDelete
I have young children at home, so I don't have the option of ignoring the holiday (although a few years ago I did run away with a stranger to Puerto Rico on Christmas Day). But I love having a tree and I love the lights. It's the signal of a long, cold winter ahead that I loathe. I do not do well in winter.ReplyDelete
But I understand the sorrow that gets tied to the holiday, with all the in-your-face messages of family time. I think it's misleading and demoralizing. I have too many horrible memories from Christmases as a kid. I don't think we ever had a peaceful one. I'm not even sure how I came out of that still liking Christmas!
I think I may just take charge of Solstice and create something myself. Yes deep breaths and it will get brighter in every sense of the word!
Oh I can relate, I have tremendous difficulty recalling any "happies" about my childhood Christmases which contributes to my overall malaise.
I feel I miss the boat with all going on around me. And often think that they have a secret key which wasn't given to me!!
Enjoy yours and your little ones!
It is different here WWW. All tourist information brochures on India will advise October to March as being the best time to visit India. The middle parts November to February are the coldest and I live in a relatively cool place due to its height above MSL. December is when we get our warm clothes and comforters out and people generally welcome this weather.ReplyDelete
I personally have no favourite or otherwise months though I enjoy the monsoons best.
Having visited the Northern hemisphere in the winter months however I know how depressing the short days and cold can be. I would not like to visit now!
Ah Ramana, maybe one of these years I will toddle off to India in the December month and get away from these short days and foggy rooms of memories.ReplyDelete
I can relate, WWW. I have to put up a huge filter to stop too much nostalgia and too many vivid memories of those gone before getting through to me, or I'd be a pain in the ass for those around me until Jan 2nd, using up box upon box of tissues 24/7.ReplyDelete
I go through the motions, but it's not easy.
how I relate to much you share.
Different when home was filled with children excited over Christmas.
Now it is not the same.
In many ways it is kind of nice
Then also at times sad...
I like that word "filter". Once I put it out there I'm doing a little better. Just knowing we're not alone can really help at times like these.
Thanks to all my wonderful friends and blog-buds.
Your photo so much reminds me of Achill Island. And your thoughts, in general, are welcome. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Welcome to you and I am glad you are reminded. I love the islands of Ireland.
And am glad I am not alone in the bleak season.
All my childhood memories of Christmas were with lots of family around -- cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-uncle, great-aunt, etc -- and big meals and singing afterward. Now we are all over the place and there is no getting together with my side of the family like we used to. I know what I'm missing, but didn't realize at the time how good I had it. I thought it was boring! Tsk. Young and foolish and oh-so-normal, I guess, was I.ReplyDelete
What I remember most if Nollaig Na Mban which was Women's Christmas which I've written about and will celebrate that in the New Year.
I think when we're having such a good time we don't realize it then. Only in hindsight!
I recognize the personal losses around the holidays must make the time difficult. I haven't wanted to deliberately "commemorate" days when I've incurred significant losses -- including my dear mother's death in Dec. on a family member's birthday. Fortunately, we had coincidentally celebrated his day a week early, so don't think he makes the connection. But, unconsciously the day of such losses like that of my Mother seems to invade my mood. When I examine what's going on with me, I realize the uninvited connection and these loved ones have entered unbidden into my consciousness.ReplyDelete
Couple your losses with your foggy dark and dreary days arrival, also signifying winter's coming, sounds like you clearly need a respite. Perhaps some sort of artificial light generating unit I've read people with -- is it called, seasonal affective disorder? -- experience might help. Must be others in your area with similar aversion.
Perhaps you could start a business -- if you got one of those units -- and could charge a modest rate for time-based use. Or, maybe I don't know what I'm writing about -- always a distinct possibility! How about starting a "group" for gloom jettisoning. ;-)
I do recall a dear friend who moved to Seattle years ago and would call me to talk -- quite overcome by the constant rain -- desperate for any distraction.
I don't engage in a lot of holiday preparations as I did when family here, or now, unless they're able to visit. I feel a bit over-saturated with what has come to seem like excessive exterior lights and decorating -- it's spreading like a virus yearly on our street, but I refuse to succumb. I set battery powered candles in my window and that's the extent of my display for exterior visualization.
Perversely, I sometimes put candles in that window that correlate with days of holiday celebrations other than my own -- a sincere tribute on my part.
Yes, you're not alone. And, yes, it will pass.ReplyDelete
Good books, a cosy fire, your dog and that wonderful view....lovely way to hibernate for Christmas.
As the years roll by, December becomes harder to do. Sorry yours is so hard; I really empathise about seeing hurt dogs or children and the tears that flow, but perhaps it is better to cry than to completely collapse. Every BlessingReplyDelete
That is sad. And it is not a sweet nostaligia either. Hang on. If winter come, and all that.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your understanding comment. I guess the mix of happy and sad affects so many of us, made to feel inadequate by the buzz and incessant merry talk.
If it were a season of quiet reflection it would make it more meaningful.
It starts with me, yeah
Yes, hibernation and reflection and fire time!
Maybe we all need a month of mourning? And if it coincides with merry, what of it?
thanks for your thoughts!
Yes I'm hanging in. And the weather is denim and crisp and clear and beautiful.
And my dog loves me.
And I love her.
All is well.