Christmas has come and gone in a flurry of emotions, activities, present ripping and food consuming madness. I am tired from being with family, being on my best behaviour, keeping it all together and making sure everyone feels at ease while I dash around madly trying to look like I am managing the chaos with not only panache, but unerring joy. I love this time of the year, but I am exhausted. I am so tired that my body aches. My throat feels like razors are tearing it open when I swallow and my head aches. The only good part is that I feel stoned without any drugs. It’s fabulous. I am also trying to decipher everything that happened this Christmas. With my mother’s lung cancer it was full of STRANGE; it was magical and confusing all at once.
I’ll start at the beginning:
Just two days before Christmas I remember being SO HAPPY. For whatever reason my Scrooginess had suddenly vanished and was i seemed to have been replaced by a tri-hybrid cross of Martha Stewart, Mrs. Claus and Janis Joplin. I was astonishingly organized and focused, I was obsessed with Christmas music and let it ring out resoundingly throughout the house and I was high on everything life had to offer me. I had an amazing time with my daughter. We did most of the wrapping together, painted frames and made homemade gifts. We ate junk food, I smoked a joint and she laughed at me while we painted. It was a great day. That evening, my best friend came over and she and I and john played Jenga with my daughter. What an amazing evening as well. we probably ate and drank more than one should PRIOR to the celebration of Christmas, but we didn’t care. It was definitely about the moments we were living and I could see we were all so happy with being happy for once. Times had been tough for us all over the past few months (years) and we were relieved. It was conscious happiness.
That evening I went to bed, happy as a lark, and awoke the next morning to a cacophony of musings in my head. Crazy unhappiness. It almost felt as though my mind had somehow shut off the happy and turned on the blazing cold. Like I “needed” to feel unhappy. It was just a very dark place, and I couldn’t understand it. I remembered briefly the joy of the night before but where this darkness had come from there was no way to tell. I was unable to be objective in that moment, and without objectivity I become morose. My mood swings annoy me.
I went through Christmas eve day as dark as could be. angry, annoyed and easily set off. Emotional basket case. We went first to Cowboys house for a pre-evening warm-up. We met some people, mostly french who were I thought completely outside of the people we usually hung out with. The culture and feel of the group was simply different from in our regular crowd, and I was surprised at how i felt I belonged there, because of Cowboys generosity of spirit. He is a real old western man, who can tame a wild horse or a wild human with his convincing crooked smile and his simple way of speaking. He has always been a good example for me of someone who has managed his life with his own desires and not with a desire to please others. An interesting and fine gentleman.
After playing some music with these people I felt my spirits rising and soon we went on our way to our drummer and friends’; home for an evening of raucous music and interesting parlees. Parties are funny the way people interact. Sometimes they are completely different from how they feel about each other in the “real world”. Topics of conversation can sometimes follow strict guidelines. Of course the obvious “no politics no religion” rule applies in most social scenarios, but it seems to be the hardest rule in the world for me to follow.
I have a system at parties, especially in ones where I don’t know a lot of people (which I find exciting and sadly rare these days). My system is that I don’t mess around and right away I hit you with a question or an observation about what you are about. Depending on how you handle this will decide how much time I want to spend with you. I don’t mean to sound like a snob, but it makes sense that when faced with a rare opportunity like meeting a new bunch of people, one should take advantage of scoping out for someone who may be looking for deeper types of experiences with people. I don’t mean in any way romantically, I do this for men or women, and as far as I know I am not gay. I mean connecting with people on a level that is deeper more informative and more real. I don’t like conversation about the weather, although at times if I find I have no dynamic with you, I too will resort to talking about it. If it is the last thing we talk about before I make some excuse to “need to be somewhere else”, like who needs to be anywhere when they’re at a party? Well you can be pretty sure I won’t be looking to talk to you again. I hate feeling uncomfortable and frankly,. I am tiered of being the one to make the conversations in my world happen all the time. I’d like once in a while for someone to step forward and say something interesting, or meaningful or serious. Everyone is so afraid of their own shadow it seems all they are trying to do is avoid learing about each other and themselves all the time. I find this insane.
So, even this christmas at my party I found myself doing the same thing to my family. Imagine what a wonderful surprise it was to find that I would have sat and talked to each one of them, with rapt attention for hours on end if I could have. I mean realistically I was feeding 34 people and cooking two turkeys so i had a bunch of things to do. But their arrival was truly nothing short of a Christmas Miracle.
That morning in a fit of sad I talked to my father’s picture and told him to “deal with this cause I’m done”. Not half an hour later my cousin called to say her brother had fallen ill and could they (my father’s side of the family) come for christmas, After all, my mother would be there and they wanted to see her as well. It was amazing.
We all sat together in the living room while everyone hugged making up for years and years of lost time. What had it been, 15-twenty years? Amazing. I felt my dad come through for me all right that night. He has never really failed me, but again I am full of gratitude.
I gave my cousins daughter one of our horses to ride She reminds me so much of me, well my enthusiasm for horses…and writing. apparently she wants to write books and ride horses. Imagine that. And she comes equipped with a best friend replete with enthusiasm and determination to have a horse with my cousin so they can do everything together. Today I dubbed them my official :barn rats”, and they could earn their horses by cleaning up the stalls and doing tack. I have never seen two happier kids in my life.
I have a good family, and good friends. My favorite present this christmas was a little handmade book by my friends with all of their favourite sayings of wisdom, each piece of paper carefully chosen, and each wise saying written with care and consideration. I told them I loved it because it made me feel “known”, like someone who really understands me would give me a gift like that. I really loved it.
Tonight the winds blow fiercely. The horses are tucked into their stalls and I can hear the world around me whipping by with the increasing storm. But, I feel safe and good and happy right here right now, and that’s really all a person can hope for.