Of late I’ve been rising very early. Is this a return to my old habits, or is it that I don’t need that much sleep any more? I don’t know–but I was sleepy for about an hour yesterday afternoon, a drowsiness that vanished about four PM. I don’t want to find myself heading back into the cycle of work and exhaustion that I ran through over the summer. That needs to end right now, and in a big way.
The mind was working overtime when I woke up, however. There was a song in my head that shouldn’t have been there, and visions that I should have ignored. This seemed to happen as well, probably because my brain is trying to pull me away from whatever dreams I had that were, in all honesty, crappy enough that they would have bummed me out in the long run.
Then I wake up, get on Facebook, and am greeted by another in a long line of post that indicate you are indeed a manly man if you wear a kilt. I’ve even seen posts that say you’d never see a gay man wearing a kilt, which leads to me believe that somewhere on the Internet there is a picture of John Barrowman in a kilt–oh, look: ask, and the Internet provides! So much for gay men in kilts . . .
It’s the time of year for visions to be upheld, for things to be viewed through a dark lens of remembered that isn’t always that clean. This time of month is when everyone goes on about holidays of the past, gathering with family, sitting around the tree and enjoying the kidlettes ripping up all those carefully prepared packages, then running off to their rooms for the next few hours while dinner is being readied.
I want to say I had a lot of memories like this, but I don’t. Oh, I spent my time around the tree, getting presents. I also remember getting yelled at a few times because I didn’t seem “appreciative” enough for what I got, and there was one time when I was yelled at for almost an hour to write a thank you note to my grandmother for sending me two dollars in a card. Good times, yo.
I know you might find this strange, but the only really good Christmas memory I have as a kid was the broadcast from the moon by Apollo 8. I didn’t listen much to what was being said–particularly the whole “reading of Genesis” thing, which I didn’t need under any conditions–because I was watching the landscape being filmed. That was what drew me in: not the words, but the vision.
We spend way too much time thinking of the past and using that to drive our present. Where we fall down is there’s no vision for what’s to come. I tell my daughter, “Do something that will make you happy, not what’s going to make you the most money,” and I mean it, because there is a singular lack of people following their dreams these days. Seems like most people are scrambling to pay bills and get shit for the holidays that will be looked at, come March, with an expression similar to, “Why the hell did I need this?” Or someone will look at that iPhone they received from Santa and thing, “Fuck this: I need a new Android!” thereby proving that gifts of this nature are usually bullshit.
I don’t think about gifts this time of year, because I’m as generous as get out for 364 days of the year (365 this year, yeah!). If someone needs something, I get it. There was a time when Christmas wasn’t about some kid being born (which, in reality, he wasn’t–not at this time of the year at least, but don’t let that spoil the fun . . .), but more about lighting bonfires and making lots of noise because you thought if you didn’t, the Wild Hunt was coming for your ass. Yule was a blow out party, celebrating getting through another year in one piece, and you decorated trees–not ones that were cut down, but those things that grow in something called a forest–to give your thanks to nature not dropping a Storm From Hell on you and your family, or infesting you with the Black Death.
Set a vision for yourself. Go with it. Make that your gift, not just to yourself, but to the world. Maybe it won’t pay off right away, or even ever, but you owe it to yourself to do. I saw the moon when I was eleven years old, and I wanted to go there. I couldn’t in real life, but I could in my imagination. It’s taken a while, but I’ve gone there, gone to other worlds, gone to other dimensions. I don’t think about getting something for the holidays, because for me, it’s just another day.
Work your vision.
If you don’t, who will?