Credits: OJ with the Boy’s Olympus E-520 DSLR. The Hitchcockian insertion of photographer into frame is entirely unintentional. (What, you don’t believe me?)
As obscene as that line sounds, I’m going to be irreverent and it stays put. Yes, this is my “that time of the year” post and oh yes, I’m so doing it because I’m supposed to be on the job. So hah.
This year, instead of the usual wishes (that I wish for you anyway), let me tell you about a tradition we’ve instated. Now you know I’m not the epitome of traditional and you also know I’m anti-symbolism. That said, I do value personal meaning and bonds and like to create my own rituals around them. As a selectively practicing Zoroastrian, Christmas tends to be my annual biggie (yeah, go figure….all that wicked, wicked missionary schooling, how come there’s no Peace & Love Jihad yet?) so this year, when we brought home a brand new baby tree to the Boy’s apartment, we invited each of our friends, neighbors and guests to put up an ornament on a branch. Whether the glow on our faces was the warmth of the season or the red and green fairy lights we’ve put up is anybody’s guess, but boy, did it feel like community.
How is that not symbolic, you ask? I don’t know if it isn’t. OJ say wisdom can be ambivalent. But the gathering of friends over prawn curry, chicken pie and cranberry juice, Bocelli’s sonorous booming of Adeste Fideles on Playstation, the BFF baking a dish for my dinner party that she didn’t even attend, a borrowed table cloth that was someone’s wedding present, the red-and-gold wreath on the front door, bought after much debate and hullabaloo on a Saturday afternoon jaunt to Crawford Market, a whiff of a vanilla-scented candle lingering in the air, welcoming visitors with the warmth we hope to extend, videotaping Ghattu as he boogied to the Trisch Trasch Polka (Strauss over Singh is King, y’hear that J?) and the wish that the love of friends will fill this little corner of our home and hearts aren’t mere symbols and it is these I am basking in as I ask the Lord to bless us and keep us while December rounds out into the unknown days ahead.
Were I clever and all tech-savvy, I would put up an e-tree and have you add baubles, but in the absence of either attribute, I’m going to ask you to visualize. Dear reader, gentle friend, won’t you hang a ding-dong on my tree?
Me: How are you going to kill me today?
Trainer: Which way would you prefer to die?
~A cheery Sunday conversation with my aerobics instructor who’s known to be a calisthenicsadist (Yes, I made that word up, but feel free to use it.)
How typical of me. Trying to get over one man by lavishing attention on another.
~Me to the BFF, as I babysat Ghattu while the Boy worked late one night.
I live in the Grand Canyon,
a chasm between
where I am and
where I want
A dry river bed that once
bubbled over with mirth, raindrops
and sparklings garnets along the
banks of the gentle Teesta.
We hang nets to dry, on
the ropes that gag us, and
strain skyward to remind ourselves
of how unforgiving blue can be.
Over on the other side, the
desert rocks moan
narratives of mothers, babes born tense,
and lesser wars.
Riding spider legs
on the long trudge home,
I am Ophelia, I am Atlas,
powder within, plaster without
and the best is night
when the walls mirror roof mirrors deep, deep heart
and we stand on a cliff
windless, sail-less, bending over