Tuesday, December 26, 2006

gone

I can’t believe its over already. How many are feeling the same thing. It’s kind of like a holiday hangover. There’s all of the flurry of activity, the laughter, the good feelings of good company….maybe… and then the morning after. Tired, worn, slightly disoriented, trying desperately to dredge up memories and feelings from the night before and not let them swirl into the darkness of my mind, is the order of this morning. Even my caffeinated work zone is quieter and more subdued. It arrived, sort of like the polar express bearing down on the day. Then, in a wave of paper, boxes, ribbons and bows, it left again. Gone but not forgotten, I hope.
It was said of Ebeneezer Scrooge, that if any man had the ability to keep Christmas all year long, it was him. I wonder how he accomplished it. Was it because he was so far gone that when change came, it swept over him like a wave that continued to carry him up the beach long after the rest has receded? I guess that maybe I’m not that far gone? Sometimes I wish I had been so that I could be changed so drastically that I could carry the change all year long. I’m having all that I can do to carry Christmas another 24 hours, let alone the next 365 days. Gone, but not forgotten I hope.
It was better and not as good as I imagined it would be, the giving and getting gifts I mean. My surprise at what has thoughtfully been picked out for me was humbling. I’m not sure that the response of others lived up to the hype, confetti, and parades that I imagined would break out upon opening. I’m not sure how this goes for you, but for me it goes like this. The presents get handed out. The turns are taken, the wrapping gets tossed as the recipients get closer to “the gift” that you picked out. Its all anticipation and a bit of confidence as the gift is lifted upon the lap. Then a brief moment of doubt and panic replaces the confidence as you briefly doubt your choice and size and color. This is followed by a bit of relief as the paper comes off and a smile replaces the look of curiosity, or frustration depending on my skill in wrapping. For me, the unveiling is never as good as the hunt, but maybe that’s just me. All in all, its always better and not as good as I imagined it would be. The memory remains however, and it grows and embellishes itself until it gets used in a “remember when” story somewhere down the road. Gone, but not forgotten I hope.
How did he do it? Ebeneezer I mean…how did he keep Christmas all year long? Did he make an attempt to stay in touch with the kinds of people that most of us only enjoy seeing on Christmas Eve? Did he track down long lost friends? Did he follow up on those holiday letters? Did he return emails and phone messages? Did he visit long lost relatives when he was “in the neighborhood”? It’s sobering when I realize that I’ve lost track of as many or more that were part of Christmases past as the number who are part of my Christmas present. At this time of year, they are gone, but not forgotten.
If I have one wish that remains to be fulfilled for Christmas I guess that it would be this one….that I could explore how to keep Christmas all year long. I’m not sure that I’m up for it. I’m exhausted just imagining what that would look like. I know that I’m worse than the average person with this. I have a horrible tendency of leaving people behind. My capacity for keeping up and keeping track with people of Christmas past is not very large. I could tell you that it’s due to my current life’s work, but somehow deep inside of me there’s a voice whispering “that’s lame” to my desire to place blame. There is no where to place blame except squarely on me. I have tried desperately to keep the past just where it is, in the past. After all, it’s gone right? Gone, but not forgotten.

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