Christmas is no joke.
A holiday thought. For Christmas and every winter solstice based ritual.
I want to wish Merry Christmas and a very happy holiday season to everyone, no matter where you are, what you celebrate, who you love, or your age, size, background, anything really. Everyone. Love is love, as that nice man who wrote Hamilton said. Having been a teacher, I have felt the joy in looking for and finding beauty and talent and possibility in everyone – and also the difficulty in doing it every day, under fire. So in these days, in the quiet season, please take the time to be kind to yourself and everyone you meet. Love is revolution.
It’s been an incredibly “challenging” year for so many of us. I’d like to think that the silver lining is that we understand, even if only in glimpses, what is truly important.
I’m sitting in a motel, finally away, far away from the city. A spur of the moment trip to the edge of the world. It’s pouring rain, the skies are grey and indifferent, clouds skirting the edge of the wind as though on the brink. The power is out, but my motel has a generator. It’s damp and cold and the sea is across the street, literally. There is silence and deep, clear water.
I can ask for nothing better. To feel this remove from what we call society is nothing but a blessing in any tongue. If all the games we play claim to be the way the world is, let us at least be able to say, I don’t want to join in, and leave.
And now another loss of a unique voice, a quietly brave man who perhaps suffered more than most from a disconnect between external and internal. Watching these icons disappear and become definite past, definite memory, is nothing short of watching pieces of yourself change. How that change manifests exactly is uncertain – mist, fog, photographs, paintings – memory, not tactile possibility. For everyone that lives in a world without human contact, perhaps it’s an unnecessary distinction. Never mind. It is a change.
The struggle is real, joke the teenagers, I can laugh along, but I see more and more that what we have lost this year is a certain kind of willingness to be individual, no matter the cost in stability for the person speaking out. We’ve got to push hard to try and keep that force alive. What do we want? What are we allowed to say? What do we permit ourselves to feel and do?
For me, I’ve got to try to believe in what anything creative can give birth to, to go where any art can lead. And part of that is nurturing connections. Keeping them going. Trusting that the real people, the good people in your life, turn up when you show them love. Can’t leap from a broken board.
From an isolated island, where I wish I could spend the next few months, I hope for that courage for myself and everyone.
PS I really think the next book is nearly done. It’s been a rough couple of years. No apologies.