This time of year used to stir up a patchwork of stressful memories for me. Those fragments of recollection would depress me and I felt out of sync with all the merriment around me.
All I wanted for Christmas was to crawl into a deep dark hole and wait for it all to be over.
“Life is like a beautiful melody, only the lyrics are messed up.”― Hans Christian Andersen
When I was a child, the Christmas holidays meant that my mother and father would be stuck with each other for a couple of weeks with me caught in the middle.
Sure there were other people who would visit, and we would go out to visit others, but mostly it was just the three of us, isolated in the family home.
Being in that house with those two was like being inside of a microwave with two eggs and some tin foil. A bleeping noise signaled each second passing, counting down to that moment when… BLAM!
I remember once seeing a beautiful illustration of The Little Match Girl, where she was outside in the cold and the dark looking at a brightly lit X-Mas tree in a house window, the people inside were happy and celebrating.
That’s me, I thought, I’m her. Always on the outside looking in. Always an outcast. Out in the cold. Misery without company. People ignoring me, pretending I don’t exist. Serving no purpose except perhaps as a point of reference of what is to be rejected.
That’s how this time of year always felt to me, even when I was inside celebrating with others and plastering a happy smile on my face.
Have I managed to depress you?
“He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him.”― Hans Christian Andersen
It’s time to crack open some Christmas nuts!
My parents used to have this large Nutcracker doll which was designed to do exactly that. I had a big crush on him because he crushed nuts. Every time he bit down on the hard shell of a nut and burst it open I would hug him… and nibble on the delicious nut bits he’d revealed for me.
I was a very weird child… and I am an equally weird adult. All of that weirdness is natural, spontaneous… I used to hate being weird, and tried hard to hide it, to be not-weird, but I only succeeded in making myself weirder.
These days I enjoy being weird and sharing my weirdness. I love it when it entertains, tickles a chuckle out of someone determined to be serious, coaxes a smile out of someone who perhaps had forgotten that they were allowed to do that, inspires someone to let loose a guffaw.
I don’t mind if people laugh at me, if they think I’m stupid, ridiculous, a cracked nut… sometimes that’s exactly what I’m aiming for.
“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”― Hans Christian Anderson
This year this time of year feels different from all the years passed, it is light, bright, and truly merry. There’s no logical reason for it to feel that way other than in this moment all is well so I might as well enjoy it… and if possible, spread some of the joy I’m experiencing around.
Of course it could all go horribly wrong at any minute, but until it does… let’s have a bit of fun!
Melanie of Sparks From A Combustible Mind has created a Christmas Cracker: Share Your World 12-17-18 for us to pull on and see what snaps crackles and pops out of our minds. Thank you for sharing, Melanie!
Melanie’s SYW questions are in bold and my answers are the confetti of words which come afterwards.
What traditional Christmas decoration is actually a parasitic plant?
Say what!?! I thought I was over the paranoia… I guess you just can’t trust yourself, can you… you definitely can’t trust others… and now you can’t trust Christmas decorations! I should have known, anything that sparkly has got to be hiding something dark and sinister under the facade.
It’s the Christmas lights! It’s got to be them because they multiply. One year your neighbour only has a series of pretty lights wrapped around their porch, and the next year it’s spread from the porch to the roof. The year after it’s on the porch, roof and around all the windows…and before you know it they’ve infested your house too.
Bloody parasites!!! So pretty… that’s how they lure you in and get their hooks into you, draining all your electricity, flickering away, mocking you, you’ll never be able to untangle yourself from their beautiful mesmerising blinking glowing wink.
Should have known, why didn’t I know… no, no, no, no… I’m going to go and rip them all out and replace them with candles. Nothing to fear from candles, they’re safe. Put them all over the tree… yes, yes!
Name something about this holiday season (whatever version you may celebrate) that most people like, but you dislike?
Christmas lights… bloody parasites!
What’s your favorite – or least favorite – song sung traditionally at this time of year?
You know that mental phenomenon which happens when someone asks you a question and you check your mind for an answer… and your mind is empty like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboards.
The moment I read this question it was as though I’d never heard a Christmas song. Christmas songs?!? What is this thing you call Christmas song…?
And then six white boomers came crashing in… to deliver a package. I opened it up and inside I found a slip of paper. Upon it was a code to decipher. Since I’m rubbish at decoding code, I inputted into a magic machine and let it go…
So, what you’re saying is that this isn’t a traditional Christmas song… maybe it should be. I mean traditions have to start somewhere somehow with a bunch of someone’s agreeing on something, right? And it’s a good song to sing at this time of year, no?
In the song “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” what “incriminating” evidence was found on Grandma’s back?
I don’t know, why are you asking me as though I was there when it happened. I was not there. Nope, no, no, no… it wasn’t me, those witnesses had been egged by the nog.
However I was called in many years later to investigate some strange sightings and occurrences. Apparently there’s this ghost with a grudge… and she’s out to get all deer whether they have reins or not.
“I only appear to be dead.”― Hans Christian Andersen
True story – Last night I was watching Master’s Sun, and the episode was about a ghost with a grudge infecting people with what it could not let go, what held it attached to this earthly plane and those upon it.
Midway through it there was a loud thud outside. I peeked out the window into the darkness, but saw nothing and heard nothing more until… another car shot by and thud thud.
If you live in rural countryside near a busy road where cars and trucks hurtle passed… you know what thuds usually mean.
I went out and pulled the dead deer from the middle of the road. There was nothing I could do for it other than not leave it where it had died to be repeatedly run over and perhaps cause a crash. Death is heavy.
It had been traveling with a friend, who ran off into the woods (and yes, I realise this is turning into Bambi… an animated film which I have not seen, but I’ve heard about that scene from people who have never recovered from the trauma).
There was steam rising up from the body, inner warmth hitting the gelid night air, white wisps against the black of night. It looked like its spirit slowly letting go and moving on.
Not so long ago I would have seen it as an omen. I was always afraid, especially when I was experiencing some happiness in my life, in my self. Anything could rattle me and make me think: I knew it, I shouldn’t have allowed myself to relax, to enjoy, to feel good…
My silliness, my crazy, my clowning around being a clown to make others laugh at me was a quiet desperation, a way of clawing myself out of that deep dark hole I often crawled into. At any moment the laughter could get wiped away, hit by a speeding car in the night. I was a deer in the headlights.
But last night, as sad as it was… there was also something uplifting offered to me by the deer. It took something away from me when it went, something which I no longer needed, as it let go, so did I.
The image above is something I created a while ago inspired by a dream about a deer. I was trying to capture what I’d seen in the seen but unseen world. I shared the image and dream in this post – Wild Chasing Human.
And in that old post which is a long rambling mess, but which is interesting considering some things I was thinking about last night after the death of the deer, I said:
I woke up, drenched in my own inner waters. Raw emotion, no thought. Thought would come later, as it always does trying to bring logic to the symbolic.
What did this mean? Was it death?
Dear, Human, why does every symbol inevitably mean death to you? And why is death so ominously chasing you in the labyrinth of your mind that everything which appears, which you can’t reduce to the ordinary, can’t magically transform into the norm, induce fear?
Why does what is wild inspire you to tame it, and by taming it, kill it… perhaps.– from Wild Chasing Human
What would you like to share with the world, if time or cost were no object?
I’m doing it right here and right now.
I share myself.
It’s all I have to offer.
“But if the star should set, even while I am penning these lines, be it so; still I can say it has shone, and I have received a rich portion.”― Hans Christian Andersen
Thank you for letting me share myself with you!
Featured image is Julbocken by John Bauer