Archive for December, 2010

New Years has not always happened on January 1st.  The new year doesn’t start on January 1st everywhere even today.  The day is celebrated by people who use a 365 day calendar.  In 46 B.C., January 1st became the beginning of the new year when Julius Ceasar developed a new calendar.  The date of the new year bounced around a bit with cultural changes, but in the sixteenth century, Pope Gregory XIII again revised the calendar and new years was returned to January 1st.  The Romans named the first month after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances.  He had two faces, one in front and one in back.  This way, he could look to the future and the past simultaneously.  The celebration of new years is the oldest of holidays.  4000 years ago it was first celebrated in Babylon.  The Babylon new year lasted for eleven days.  The tradition of using a baby to depict the beginning of a new year began in Greece around 600 B.C.  They celebrated their god of wine, Dionysus, by a baby in a basket representing the annual rebirth of god as the spirit of fertility.  The current celebratory traditions are many, varying from country to country.  Here in the US, a kiss is exchanged at midnight.  It is derived from masked balls and the tradition symbolizes the masks as evil spirits from the old year and the kiss is the purification into the new year.  The tradition of the new year’s resolutions dates back to 153 B.C., to the early Babylonians.  Their most popular resolution was to return farm equipment.  My most popular resolution is to lose weight, one I’ll be pulling from the closet again this year.  That, and to finish the publishing process of my first novel!

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Weathering Winter

It’s not technically winter yet, but the season is here.  Already the ground is sodden from the most recent of several storms.  Where I live, in the mountains, the storms are extreme.  The wind howls, the rain dumps in sheets, the thunder and lightning are directly overhead.  I live alone, so no one ever hears me yelp at the sound of tree branches breaking and smashing to the ground.  No one but I feel the pounding of my heart and the racing of my pulse.  The monumental storms tear me up and rip me apart.  I fear for my safety, the home I live in being a stilt house, balanced on the side of a mountain.  I have nightmares of Love Creek Canal where the mountain side just fell off into the river taking homes and families with it.  Maybe it’s time to move.  I’m anxious about the worst of the winter months and I don’t think I can take yet another extreme season.  The storms aren’t the only thing I have trepidation about in the winter.  The holidays.  Oh, how I dread the holidays.  I can’t stand the crowds, the people, all out and about.  I dislike the decorations.  I hate the obligations.  I can’t bear the parties.  Even Santa Claus disturbs me.  Not one thing about Xmas do I like.  I’ve been that way for most of my adult life, never knowing where to fit into the holiday season.  My favorite day of the year is January 2, leaving me with a full year before I have to suffer through them again.  Finally, I do like the camaraderie the winter season brings about.  I love that people come together every time a storm wreaks havoc on neighbors.  I love that the strong come to the aid of the weaker, less able bodies.  I suppose I should find a way to reconcile the holidays so that I can enjoy how they bring people together.  I suppose I should find a way to become festive and learn to share the best of the holidays.  I suppose I should find a way to be less of a Scrooge.

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What Is Real?

I live alone. And I’m a bit of a recluse. Sometimes a week will pass without me seeing another person. Often days will fly by before I notice that I haven’t spoken aloud to another human being. If I had a pet, I suppose I’d talk aloud more, but since I live alone, days can pass without me hearing the sound of my own voice. It reminds me of the question about a tree falling in the forest. If no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Sometimes I wonder if I’m real. If no one hears me, or is aware of me, am I real? Could I be just a figment of someone’s imagination? What a weird imagination that would be. Perhaps I’m just a thought, wrestling around in someone’s brain. Wouldn’t that be bizarre. I feel real, but that could be just an illusion. An imagination can be a powerful thing. I’ve been home for a week now, so I went out today and faced the public. It was such a shock from being home alone. Some of it was enjoyable, while other parts blew chunks. It’s sometimes confusing to be out and about after so long alone. I forget a bit about socializing – how to relate to people, what to do in certain situations. Sometimes I find myself wanting to help others, but most of the time, I don’t know how. And I love the people who want to help me, when I’m floundering around, unsure of my intentions and unknowing of my follow-through. I find there are more people out there that want to help than those who do not. That pleases me. People coming together to make it through the hard parts. It’s worth going out into the world just to see that. Although, I still appreciate my alone time. I enjoy my time alone and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Guess it’s a good thing I live by myself.

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