Posted by: jruthkelly | December 13, 2011

Bah! Humbug!

It’s a mood. It will pass. But this quote expounds on what is valid of this passing mood…

“In the Western world it is second nature for us to assume that all creative action requires the incentive of inadequacy and discontent. It seems obvious that if we felt fulfilled at each instant and no longer regarded time as a path of pursuit, we should just sit down in the sun, pull large Mexican hats over our eyes, and put bottles of tequila at our elbows. Even if this were true it might not be so great a disaster as we imagine, for there is no doubt that our extreme busyness is as much nervous fidgets as industry, and that a certain amount of ordinary laziness would lend our culture the pleasant mellowness which it singularly lacks. However, it does not seem to occur to us that action goaded by a sense of inadequacy will be creative only in a limited sense. It will express the emptiness from which it springs rather than fullness, hunger rather than strength.” Alan Watts – Nature, Man and Woman

And this, my friends, is why when my back starts screaming after days of driving around wondering how it is so many people can find the holiday frenzy inspiring when it’s cram jammed with little time to breathe or be human (ok, i’m mothering 3 kids with no partner and that DOES have some affect), lifting furniture, moving mountains (ok, that was in my dream), dishing out comfort to the brokenhearted, hounding shops for everything from white lights (not the surreal spiritual kind! just the Christmas kind!) to gifts to that special cream for teenage skin to stressing over the missing black belt for the pants for the son who’s playing in the concert that is meant to bring seasonal cheer to…it’s TIME TO LIE DOWN. Lunch break is back break or my back will break.

There. is. too. much. on. most. of. the. plates. out. there. and we are not fat with satisfaction for it either! And don’t get me started on how this season is a tightrope walk between year markers and philosophies. For many it’s all about Jesus. For some it’s just offensive. For me it’s all about how great it is that this holiday provides space and time (precious little!) to pause with my family, to recognize where we are, how sweet life is, and yes, how pretty the tree is (ignore sustainability and how the tree yeah, nevermind). But the materialism collides with “sweet family time” and I find myself growling. Loudly. Especially if my back is not happy. And I don’t have that Mexican hat!

Where’s the authentic creativity in a season that, by all it has become culturally in the U.S., asks more than even one family can manage and therefore leaps from the platform of inadequacy straight into the fire of “holiday cheer?” I realize there are exceptions living it out right now with no complaints. But yeah. Guess what? The word is EXCEPTION. And I’m complaining!

So, bah! (insert stomping sounds here. que the music. tomorrow my more balanced perspective will win.)

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