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HONORING MY MOTHER | Redefining Holiness

DAVID Whyte, my favorite poet ATM, has this stream-of-consciousness post that he updates yearly entitled “Finding the Holy in the Holidays” and it has proven to be quite a handful. In his latest write-in, he hinted that holiness or the lack of it resides in the little things. Then he said that the forgotten meaning of giving gifts has become a ‘central absence’ and at that, I can only agree.

Just could not wrap my head around it but, it seems that we might have lost out on seeing gift-giving as nothing but a materialistic exercise that is supposedly dictated by the holiday spirit. Do we blame our parents for this then or should we move further down the line and lay it on thickly on those who followed before them? As a kid, it has been a long-time practice that the Christmas season be above other things, showcase one big commercial event. In the big cities, this is true. I’ve spent a few Christmases in smaller towns and at least, there still comfortably resides a semblance of holiness about the whole affair. Now, in the internet age, it can’t be denied that the commerciality of it all lay like one huge blanket over us all, save perhaps Aquaman’s Atlantis.

Then truly, it cannot be denied that this particular 2021 Christmas, has in it, that fast-paced feel, influenced largely by a dramatic decrease in quarantine restrictions. In turn, it has really turned up our volume and spirit in celebration. 

We were at our “suki” gasoline station early this morning for an unplanned car checkup and while waiting, I and the mechanics engaged in a free-time small talk about their Christmas day celebration at the beach with their families. It had been laughable they said, one minute there was still vacancy at the resort they were intending to visit…then the next minute, it had been fully-booked. 

As compromise, they had to content themselves with just a view of the beach from their service cars for a few bucks as parking fee. Even as their kids enjoyed themselves, they said that all was swell. since inside the premises, there wasn’t any tinge of social distancing that could be observed. Let’s wait and observe come January, if the zero cases in the city will slowly rise again, as what is already happening in other parts of the world, one of them said.

Going back to them little things, holiness as Whyte intones, could be that feel-good spirit that comes when we’ve done something good for others. I guess he says let’s stop being little kids for the moment and focus more on the giving rather than in the mine-mine attitude that heats up our dopamine. At least we’d be one when John Lennon once again hits the airwaves to sing “and so this is Christmas…”


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