it's about 1208 gmt on 25-12-2009. with all kinds of rituals, festivities and businesses around the iconic date- whether it is directly related to it, for/against it, or simply related by proximity, christmas is here. 8 minutes ago.
the christianity believes this is the symbolic arrival of the messiah. for the jews,they had their chanuka earlier this month. the muslims will be celebrating the day of ashura very soon. a bit later in january, the hindu festival makar sankrant will be here. the korean families back home will be eating the red bean soup to repel the end of the year bad luck and prepare the rice cakes for the new year's soup. the large percent of population of the world will be celebrating end of the year, and the position of christmas, not even a week from the end of the year, makes it very easy date to celebrate- the statue of it as legal holiday in many places also helps quite a bit i think. and anywhere that has been touched with western culture- however heavy or light, will be at least partially influenced by the christian traditions- and now influenced by all kinds of multicultural and economical influences... the various facets of christmas or winter holiday is a very complex one to put into words. but we all have a place for them in each mind. unique and real.
perhaps christmastide have became simpler: it is the symbolic time of exploring the old memories, forming new ones, recollect the bits you have missed. the bits you want to lose, the people you are pained to see, the people you cannot wait to meet, the people you are with, the people you will be with. large amount of population goes through extensive travelling to converge, meaning they have diverged from their normal environment, for one simple reason- it's the time for collective reflection.
it is easy to see how many of us have missed the mark, just slightly below the bulls eye with the business of spending and crammed activities. but it is important to think about the reason why one goes overboard. let's be forgiving and generous to others and oneself (as i am sure i have twisted many intentions now and in the past to suit myself) to think that we went overboard and lost our cool because essentially we wanted to be nice to the people around us. the simple abundance of commercial good and the ease of acquiring such things may have replaced the initial intention of shared joy. as consequence, there are much unhappiness and feeling of inadequacy when one is not able to provide material goods or sufficient time (much more rare but true), which may be expressed as frustrations or anger towards oneself/others. but rather than faulting one, it would be much more appropriate to incorporate the intentions of the gestures i think.
even a crap gift is a gift. it's an offering. and it is the time of reconciliation and forgiveness. as time never turns back. one does not come back to a same point- family home, old town, wherever one traditionally go. return means re+turn. you have turned around again.
c.1366, "to come back," from O.Fr. retorner "turn back, return," from re- "back" + torner "to turn" (see turn). Transitive sense is attested from c.1420. The noun is first attested c.1390, "act of coming back."
that means one must account for the time that have passed. like the promise of the departed ship. it may return and it may not. but one point is true: it will return in a different point of time and nothing will be the same. it may appear very similar but as the ship have traveled, as the passengers traveled, the lives have changed. and then we converge, flock towards one another to be together, social animals, and by the act of sharing, offering, comprehension and acceptance, we become something greater than living organisms. we are conscious and alive.
there are so many thoughts and wishes i want to send to my loved ones. friends. mentors. the passerbys on the flights who may no longer remember me. may be echoes from the ones who have left this physical world before this time. each one very different from one another, as my relation to them are constantly changing, never exactly the same. evolving. like the constellation- far, wide, universe ever-expanding, the light impressions from eons ago, but still, connected and vivid, as imageries that was held together through the human ages, evocative and big enough to be shared through at least half of the world. some close and some far.
what could i wish for this day- as part of tradition, of culture, or perhaps a simple personal wish? i say i wish that at least some point in this time paradigm, i can evoke beauty in lives of my own and others. but not by myself, however by being in contact with them. yes. like chemical reaction, as i was frequently saying this entire year. and by being able to appreciate such simple concept, i can then say the specifics without the worries of misunderstanding, lost courage or the strict lifeless formality.
in terra pax hominibus, bonae voluntatis.
we all carry hope and promise of departed ships. if you have returned to a port, as i have, whether it be a physical space or proximity to people, do keep that hope and promise alive. as we are soon to depart again, to million directions. as converged (in physics that would be coming together of light rays at a focal point), will diverge (1665, from L. divergere: go in different directions, from dis (apart) + vergere (to bend, turn)). and from the departure, once again, the motion will be set, riding the tide of time. and i wish to salute you with a full heart, courage!
love to you all.