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Solitude vs Ceremony.

Better Half of Christmas

And you wonder,
somewhere in the
cracks of uncertainty:
who is “Christ” in all this …
if this really, indeed celebrates
the birth of an enigmatic teacher,
then, where-oh-where
is Teacher and Teachings
in this recipe?

So, this seems a time for “family”.
and … families gather.

And I used quotation marks around “family”,
because this word, besides its traditional nuclear
connotation, carries with it a lot of assumption.

It carries an assumption that the people who
gather actually “love” each other.‚ Or even “like” each other.

Or, perhaps, can “tolerate” each other.

But if these people come together mostly for obligation,
or “show”,
or saving face;
or as an antidote to “Christmas loneliness”
(perhaps one of the most profound versions of loneliness),
then what is the truth, certainty and sanctity
of this gathering?

So, since the essential teachings of the teacher
whose birthday this gathering “represents”,
are actually in no way represented or acknowledged,
we default to the re-affirmation
of some kind of bond that unites the people
who gather.

Many of these people who gather
will not see or communicate with
each other again.
Or, at least, until
next Christmas.‚ And then, if boyfriends
or girlfriends, or family units have
re-configured or shifted in any way,
it will be a different group.‚ So, the
“connection” we see acknowledged,
or paid traditional lip-service to,
is tentative and arbitrary at best.

And, when we get down to the brass tacks,
what is the essential nature of these
Christmas Gatherings?

There seems to be small-talk and the
customary introductions, until the alcohol
kicks in and takes effect.‚ There is the filling
of stomachs with food that is richer and more
appealing than your daily fare: the abandonment
of “carbohydrate resolutions”.‚ There is animated
small-talk, jokes, and pecking orders established.

Those who are adept at commanding an audience
take over,
as they always do, and titillate, bore, and
entertain an audience captivated by fear of loneliness,
numbed and anesthetized by alcohol and elevated
blood sugar.‚ Family dynamics once again command
the show, and what is re-affirmed and rekindled
is nothing more than the glue and scar-tissue
that always defined the family unit.

These are my observations.

In all this intensity, pressure and overwhelm,
I have made a choice.

I choose the “Christmas of One”.

One could call it a statement of aloneness
or solitude.‚ One could call it self-serving
and selfish.‚ Others could see it as antisocial.

Aloneness is not such a bad thing,
especially if‚ you like yourself.
And more certainly, if you have found
the light that illuminates the center
and core of your being.

Xmas Half-Life

There is no aloneness, no emptiness,
and no wanting, in this core of light.

There is fullness and contentment
and knowing.‚ A knowing, that in truth,
I am not alone, I am not empty, I am loved,
I am supported, I am cared-for,
I am accompanied, I am uplifted, I am
entertained – by the most outrageous
Entertainer of All: the One, who,
at the core of me, gives me life,
breath and sustenance.

The One who is always with me,
despite the‚ fickleness of family and friends;
the One who soothes and nurtures me
without the toxic “fillers” of carbohydrates
and alcohol, without the necessity of
wearing a lampshade on my head,
or applauding politely at a circus of clowns.

I have found,
and I celebrate,
The Christmas of One.

This, I believe, is the closest I can get,
to the teachings that were originally
represented by the visitor named “Jesus”,
or by any of the many, who came
with this same unique message,
that, what you are looking for is
within you.

To you who are Many:
may you find, celebrate & treasure,
the Christmas of One.

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