The end of the year tends to be something of a blur for me. The holidays come one right after the other, starting with Halloween and continuing with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. I am of two minds about these holidays. On one hand, I feel I am required to be in a festive mood and follow certain “family” traditions that were, in fact, never a part of my own family. On the other hand, while I appreciate the time off from work, I would rather pick my own holidays and spend the time going someplace interesting, such as Peru, Siberia, American National Parks, or Australia.
Still, for those of you who feel they have to be uplifted by celebrating our holidays in a traditional manner, my heart goes out to you. Just remember that your holidays do not define or delimit you in any way. You are a unique person with needs which other people might at times find off-putting. Never you mind! Just put on a happy face and grit your teeth. But whatever you do, remember to pay homage to your own daemons, once the needs of your loved ones have been taken care of.
I recognize that I am a little strange at times. But so are we all! There is a certain safety in being conventional, but that safety is an illusion. Any day of the year, I would rather read a good book than watch a football game; eat a pork tamale with a fiery salsa picante rather than turkey; give gifts because I want to, not because it is a social obligation.
Tomorrow, Martine and I will go to the Getty Villa to look at ancient Greek and Roman art. We will pointedly not join the throngs at the malls looking for Black Friday bargains. We would rather have a restful Friday looking at works of art which have survived for two or more milllennia that were created by people who were much like us.