I just finished a five-day week of holiday ho-ho-oh-my-god-kill-me-now.
Still, by the end of it all (and it was a painful end to be sure), I was singing Christmas carols and not caring what others thought about me.
Actually, I gave up caring what others think about me for Lent. Back in the ’90s.
And if my fateful collision with MRME a year ago (and all the puffery and perfidy that he stood in for as proxy) has taught me anything, it is to live each moment fully. So thereofre I can say this truthfully with all of my broken heart…
Wait, that wasn’t… what… maybe… okay. Let’s just go with that.
Truth is: I love to sing, and I have so many song lyrics in my head, that it’s a wonder that I have any room for recipes or bank account numbers or the names and birthdays of all my great-great grandmothers. But I have all of that still kicking around my noggin, and so I gleefully watch this movie every year.
Peace and goodwill towards all. That’s what the season calls for. Is it possible?
Christians call it charity, Buddhists call it karuna. Doctor Who calls it love and says that Christmas is a fixed point in time and space when humanity gathers together to congratulate itself on surviving the dark and turning once again towards the light.
It’s the same idea, regardless. And it has lead us, as Westerners, to profound expressions of hope. Not that we are the only ones who feel this exultation.
Which is why, as skeptical as I am about God, I will never say Bah, Humbug to Christmas.
Instead, I will live every day of the year as if it were Christmas, to quote the reformed Ebenezer Scrooge after being visited by his dead business partner, Jacob Marley.
“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
At its best, Christmas is about letting the holy light of goodwill purge hate and plant joy.
(With or without the birth of a Son of God, because that is a trope as old as humanity and Christians do not have a monopoly on it, and I will talk more about it later).
Where does that leave me? At a very simple and kind spot where I am content.
Still, let’s do the math. I adhere to the rigors of science and logic. But if I had to choose a non-logical belief system to identify with, then I would have to say that I am more a pagan at heart than a Christian.
I found more compassion a.k.a. charity a.k.a. karuna in the Witchcraft community of my early adulthood than the strict Christian community of my childhood, so I recognize Christmas as having the potential to be holy but I offer something a little more primal as a poem, in honor of the upcoming winter solistice and Yule.
Here’s the truth: it doesn’t matter what we believe. It matters how much we love ourselves (karuna, after all, also encompasses self-compassion) and how much we love other people.
Admittedly, sometimes the path to love takes a scenic route trip through hate. But as long as we don’t stop there and colonize Hell, then we will all be okay.
the sky is a fuzzy black sable slate.
the moon is a thin, white crescent.
if a broken-heart spell you wish to cast,
no better time than the present.
bathe in rose oil as you burn frankincense.
flame candles with a wooden match.
stand naked as the Goddess at your mirror
‘til the truth shines: you are a catch.
say it once, twice, and again to be sure:
I am beautiful and divine.
any man who’d hurt you doesn’t deserve
your pearl; sister, don’t feed the swine.
offer hair or its ilk from your body
(or blood, if you’re feeling voodoo),
for nothing means anything in this world
‘til sacrifice turns it to true.
in red ink, scratch your name, on a paper
next to his, writ by his own hand.
lay these potents like eggs, on pink velvet .
wrap it with thread, then speak command.