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Santa does not visit solitary homes.

Santa doesn't visit people who live alone.

Santa, having run headlong into the scientific impossibility of moving as quickly as would be required, when the world changed from a mythopoeic and magical place, when the wizard-souls of alchemy gave way and the hermetic souls of mathemagic took their place, Santa who was increasingly conjured and bound into the magical rebellion against the cold mechanism of impersonally automated soul-deleted equation-driven physicality, was forced to a paradigm of indirection.

Sinterklaas, Saint Nicholas, the echo in the collective unconscious, was gradually removed from his origin as the Bishop of Myra, a Christian who was persecuted by Diocletian and who was one of the shapers of the modern Christian faith, a participant in the Nicene Council, a loving and giving man, was taken into folklore, and from that place where the Saints wait, he watches his echo in time as it was transformed into a peculiar elf, a magical thing only loosely connected to the Christ who shaped Nicholas of Myra, and this impossible Santa who was able to visit everyone in a world which was bounded only by one's neighbors and immediate family, is now intensely expected to be everywhere in the world, his office limited to children and those whose hearts are transformed through love into childlike wonder.
He is powerful enough to carry his gifts through love but the cold physical reality means that he can only operate through the love of one person for another.

Santa cannot visit people who live alone, because there is nobody whose love shares a roof with them, creating a hearth where he can enter. Only sometimes, and so it's a better thing that those people who are homeless, helpless, who have no friends and loved ones, to be the focus of his manifestation through those whose hearts reach out to those who are most in need.

He did not visit me, because the opening into the world which he used for that, has been closed for now.
With the radio quietly playing christmas music, somewhere in the ghostly night, I did dream. When the morning came, and they broke out the loud, jolly, drinking-too-early strange relatives: Commercials, weird loud country music, I woke up slowly, and listened to the changed world.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 25th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
Three years ago I spent Christmas alone. It was four weeks after my brother died. Gayle, Joe, and Erin had been invited to a friend's house for dinner, but I was not included, and no one invited me anywhere. But I thought I would make the most of it, and decided to make real pan-fried chicken for myself, and rent a bunch of movies.

This might be have a successful plan except for one small glitch: one of the movies I rented was "Wit" with Emma Thompson, as a cancer patient who addresses the camera with pithy observations as her cancer progresses. If you ever think you will make a similar plan for Christmas, DO NOT RENT THIS MOVIE.

My pan-fried chicken was perfect but after watching "Wit," the day was pretty much shot to hell.

I had a few miserable Christmases as a kid, usually involving my father's alcoholism, but time has pretty well faded the memories of those. I can now safely say that Christmas 2003 was the worst.
Dec. 26th, 2006 06:57 am (UTC)
Wow. We would have loved to have you visit us. It was a chaotic year and the discipline of hosting a visitor would perhaps have helped. I recall
Penny being somewhat helplessly empathetic, wanting to but unable to be there with you.

This isn't a bad Christmas. I spent the day with my Mom, who was looking so very much better since Grandma passed, because she can now sleep a whole night through - even if it's only six or seven hours, it's not interrupted twice. She has been able to rest, and looks much better. And as she's now on an actually effective pain medication, she's looking a bit younger.

My brother Allen, somehow, had a picture of Grandma in 1963.
She had dark hair, and looked so very much like my mother did at the age of 35.

In 1962, I started grade school, living with my mom and her psychopathic, sadistic stealth-abusive second husband Lester, whose charm and kindness and humor in their early marriage had given way to jealousy, philandering, bullying and viciousness to his children and to me. For him, drinking wasn't a trigger for abusiveness; it simply changed the kind and degree.
I'm not sure what I recall of Christmas that year. I think I was at my Dad's place, because school was messing with the 50/50 custody thing.
Before school started in 1963 Mom asked Dad to take custody of me for the school year, because Lester was becoming much more abusive and threatening her with hurting me. (I found that out later.)

In 1963 when the picture of Grandma Velma was taken, I was having Christmas at one or the other of my Dad's Mother's place (Grandma Lucille) or Betty's mother's place (Grandma Tucker). Grandma Lucy, a six-pack-per-day smoker, would begin her day with a beer; her soaps, gossiping with some friend or other, and making a very cursory attempt to clean her house would exhaust her by dinnertime. I don't recall what we ate there.

Grandma Tucker, on the other hand, was a Church Lady - you remember them from Saturday Night Live. I am sure she was nice sometimes, but I do not recall her ever having a kind or supportive word for her daughter, and I recall her flaying her husband or her son with a tongue sharper than an industrial laser. She spoke a great deal about Satan, and about how children should be beaten to improve their character and how men were generally useless and how to cook... she was a good cook, and Betty learned a great deal from her, apparently, because under the nasty edginess, both would always feed their guests with the best food they could manage.
Which is, I suppose, a stealthy way of expressing love, however grudging.
Dec. 26th, 2006 06:58 am (UTC)

My worst Christmas, actually, came in 1974. Mom's second husband Lester had three daughters by a previous wife, one of whom had been placed with an adoptive family by foster care when their mother was found weaning her on beer; the other two were Leslie (a year older than me) and Jamie (four months older than me). Jamie killed herself on December 20th of 1974.

The next year was pretty bad as well, at least at school. I was really feeling alone, and missed Jamie though I didn't ever talk with her much. And a stupid stunt by a guy in the dorms had reminded me that there's such a deep chasm between acquaintance and friend. Anyway my folks had moved back to Montana the summer before (they moved out a week before my 19th birthday, leaving no forwarding address) and were living in my great-Grandmother's house. Grandma bought me, and Bud, polyester liesure suits, and we wore them. Other than that, it was a good Christmas. And then a week or so later, I met Penny for real (having encountered in passing during Dead Week in an attempt to beg popcorn from an evil party the floor below.) I lured her with comic books.

Tonight, driving home, I was feeling her there with me. We would have gone to the car, driven down the block, stopped and torn off the smoke-gagging outergarments and shoved them into the trunk, put on something smokeless that had been kept in the car, wiped off the smoke from our faces and hands and arms, and then driven back ... If it had been dry weather we would've gone by way of McMinnville and Forest Grove, in order to see Christmas lights, but it was raining and nasty and I got into the car, it was hard to see, and I was tired and dizzy and indecisive about which way to go, and heard her say "Don't be stupid, we're taking the freeway, if there's an accident at least someone will see it and call an ambulance." Except I didn't actually hear her voice.

And when I got on the freeway I felt her sitting beside me enjoying the NPR Christmas music. Every time in the past, when she was physically there, it made me feel happy and content. This time it also made me feel very lonely, but still happy and content, which was such an confusing emotional state that I had to force myself to think about driving because I wasn't able to concentrate on driving.
Dec. 26th, 2006 06:45 am (UTC)
Jeebus, you write so damn well.

I miss that.

Dec. 26th, 2006 06:58 am (UTC)
I miss the group too. *hugs* back atcha.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )