Friday, December 23, 2016

Ding Dong

23rd December 2016

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Ding dong merrily on high. Ding Dong just about sums up my feelings this post-election winter solstice. Ding dong, the witch is dead, is what the conservatives have always wanted to sing about "nasty women." So I put my fingers in my ears and try to drown out the noise. I don't want to face the fact that the electoral college has just voted in Donald Trump for the most powerful position in the world.  I was holding out for divine intervention, so now I am singing Ding dong and La la la.  I am telling myself: Well, anyway, I'm not even American. I belong far away on a solitary Scottish shore with the sea wind chattering inside my hood. Venerating Ding Dongs is after all a very American phenomenon.

In the future, in ding dong land, I can see us having enforced nativity scenes at Christmas. Because the twittering Christian conservatives that got Trump into office, think we need more of the little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay. They think we need to bow down before the three kings of Orient and their gifts of Gold, Frankincense and tree resin. Myrrh. The only one of these gifts we really understand, and the Christians are right about this, although they have always been good at grabbing plenty of this for themselves, is gold. Modern man has sold his soul for gold, and his hero is gold-digger-in-chief Mr. Homo Avarus himself. Ding dong.

But the Christians came late to Yuletide. This celebration of the transition from darkness into light has been celebrated since humankind could lift up a sacred object and send it hurtling into the night sky. Modern man looks at the stars and sees a bunch of scientific fact. We don't see anymore the gladiators and the lovers and the celestial beasts. We are full of dry-bone stuff. Facts. Statistics.
In fact, it's not Bethlehem we have lost, but a sense of magic. We don't have much wonder in our hearts anymore, not like our ancestors did.  Only the little children still have a sense for this, with their big eyes and their excitement that Santa Claus is on his way. Truth is, I like Christmas, the tree, the tinsel, the dreaming of snow-covered firs.  I celebrate this one moment in our crazy existence when we allow a little magic in.  
So unhinge yourselves from the gold race tomorrow and the next day. And the next. Remember how it felt to be a child and to thrill to the tinkle of a Christmas bell. To find all wells of mystery in a glittery glass ornament in the shape of crescent moon.

We are myth-makers. That's who we are. Don't be fooled - it's story-telling that drives the scientists, too. Homo-poetica. We need our stories and our moments of magic. That's what makes us human. And that's what Christmas is about.

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