Thursday, December 15, 2011
I live in a swanky neighborhood in a buttoned down, serious city which is why I find rather hilarious just how tacky, gaudy, and overworked the beautiful houses look during the holidays, encrusted with baubles, lights, reindeer, big ugly plastic santas and such. No offense Santa Claus, but my dear you are not pretty, c'mon.
There's no house on Capitol Hill as surreal in terms of over-decoration as some in suburban neighborhoods where the residents know nothing about restraint. There were suburban neighborhoods outside San Francisco we used to visit every year, just because they were so over the top. People, in their cars in a long queue, waited patiently to drive through those neighborhoods. What would aliens from another planet make of this behavior? I wonder.
The people who own the chateau decorate just one tree in the front yard. There are MANY blue lights on the tree. More than many, you could say. Do I dare to speak the truth? There are too many blue lights on that tree. I have yet to take a picture that isn't blurry; I'll keep trying. The tree, droopy under the weight of all those lights, is nevertheless pretty cheerful though I admit as soon as New Year's Day has passed, I'm instantly tired of all Christmas decor, in particular the blue tree.
Some people keep their Christmas lights switched on until March. It's so wrong! After January 1, our secular solstice, the landscape should be allowed some cold, quiet darkness - not that it's ever dark in the city, but still, we should try to dance in alignment with the long dark month of January, shouldn't we? I think so. Seems disrespectful, or at least cheeky, to rage against the dark after the solstice.
Here at the chateau the lights are unplugged on February 1st, the cross-quarter day between solstice and equinox. Conceptually it's quite elegant, but still too long for me.
I'm thinking about light and dark today because a Facebook friend posted this status: I celebrate the dark and breathe fire. Once upon a time, when I was fully wiccan, I celebrated the dark, too, kind of exclusively as is the practice in that tradition. These days I celebrate the light at least as much as the dark, probably a little more than the dark, or maybe a LOT more than the dark. That means I no longer have to breathe fire. What a relief!