Just bitchin'

And To All A Good Night…

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I did something shocking.

I proclaimed, loudly and without the slightest apology: “Merry Christmas.”

I hadn’t intended to; it just slipped out.

Silence ensued.

I had committed the politically incorrect sin of uttering something un-generic at a time of year when we are all very careful to tiptoe about on religious eggshells for fear of alienating anyone who might not celebrate the same holiday that we do.

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I knew it the second the words dropped like leaden harbingers of impropriety. And then I decided I really didn’t care what others thought. I wouldn’t be offended if someone wished me a Happy Hanukkah, or a Happy Solstice, or any of the multitude of other winter observations, as long as the intent was to share joy.

I’m sorry to offend, but the term ‘Happy Holidays’ just doesn’t pack the emotional oomph of its more specific cousins.

So with all due respect…

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night…

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Just bitchin'

Northwest Winter Gifts

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At the stormiest of times, clouds can part…

…revealing an unexpected vista of stars so thick they seem to coalesce, to gather like swathes of gauze against purest black.

This celestial beauty spreads before you, mesmerizing until…

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…a streak of fire jolts you from your reverie.

Did you really see it? Maybe not…

…but then another

and another

and yet again

and more.

A shower of fire, frost-kissed, utterly silent, lances across the sky.

Each one worth a wish.

You wonder if you’re the only person stargazing on such a night. Normal people are indoors, sheltering against the cold.

You are no longer in a hurry. You no longer grumble about the long walk from the garage.

Because the winter night has gifts to give.

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Just bitchin'

Midwinter Malaise

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It’s like cabin fever of the soul.

But not quite.

It’s like mental nails on a mental chalkboard

But not quite.

It’s like teeth grating on the tines of a fork.

But not quite.

It’s emotional mid-winter. Grey. No end in sight. Damp and wet and squelching underfoot. Soggy and chill. It’s wanting to stay in bed all day. It’s forgetting to open the drapes, because, really, what difference does it make. It’s watching the sky drip like a suppurating wound. It’s going a little deaf from the endless rattling of the rain, the sifting of the flakes. It’s life bounded by drear, experienced in murk.

But not quite.

Out of sheer desperation you instigate paltry changes, as though doing so will make Nature take notice; will make Her speed up Her calendar and change now, change soon. As though Nature cares that you’ve hacked off your hair, or thrown out half of your possessions, or walked naked in the snow to demonstrate, if not your power, then your indifference.

As though Nature cares.

It’s breaking rules and doing things you’ll regret; regretting even as you do. It’s squinting at displays of red and pink satin hearts that try to deceive you into believing this is anything other than a time of snarling discontent.

It’s February.

It’s midwinter malaise.

It’ll pass.

Too late.

Damn that groundhog anyway.

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Image: Dark Hand In A Dark Place from pulsamedia.eu

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