Sunday, December 28, 2008

dazed and confused

Maybe it is just me.

I've noticed a certain growing sense of uncertainty about the future that is leading us all to bask in a certain nostalgia. I used that uncertain/certain comparison on purpose. I know people actually moving back to childhood homes. This Facebook thing has taken me on a month long high school reunion experience I could never have predicted a few years ago. I've spent hours looking forward to reading what people I haven't seen for twenty-five years have written. I am distinctly not so interested in most people in my present circle -- a few, but not many.

The comfort of revisiting the morals of the people I grew up with, to see if we're all still on the same page, is really addictive. The relief of talking to people who grew up in an interracial community (Park Hill, Denver, CO - circa 1970s), who have now traveled to and lived in other places that were not like that is sustaining in a way that even the election of Obama is not.

I mean when I say, well yeah, I danced with black boys, and sang with black girls when I was quite young, has turned out to be inconceivable to even my dearest love. It has made me feel like I'm lying or something, questioning my own memories...and then Facebook! Sigh. I feel redeemed.

There are only a few people I'm still looking for...people I worked with in Los Angeles who I miss. Isn't it weird that I should feel attached to people who I only knew 12 years ago, and for only a decade? But, then that's about how long I knew the people I grew up with. Who needs reincarnation? We in our lifetimes live so many complete lives, that are separate and unique that we have many opportunities to improve our game right now. The decisions we made twenty-five years ago have ramifications for life, after life. Then suddenly, we're given the opportunity to rectify!

It actually makes me feel like the world is ending. That we're being given the chance to revisit our entire lives via the Internet, is sort of like that thing they say happens when you die -- your whole life flashing before your eyes. The choices we made come forward and we see easily where we misfired and what we might have done differently. This is recapitulation on a grand scale. Can it be only me experiencing this strangeness?

Is the future so uncomfortable that we're unwilling to look at it anymore?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Human Light

Yesterday was "Human Light Day," the agnostic answer to the crazed holiday season. It seems kind of silly to me. I mean isn't the point of being agnostic or atheistic to get out of crazy holiday seasons? What I like about "Human Light Day" is that their carole is "Imagine" by John Lennon. That is appealing to me.

Also, the fact is that I'm in this crazy attempt to acknowledge all of the holidays that have gathered around the Winter Solstice. I work for a Jewish organization, and so now I know more about Hanukkah (including the many spelling choices) than I ever learned from my Jewish grandparents. There's the Christmas hooplah that I grew up with and perpetrated on my children. The most meaningful celebration for me is the Winter Solstice celebration at my Co-Masonic Lodge, and this year our leader opened the Lodge for the children to experience the ritual, and it was just exactly what we all needed. There were many little giggles, big beaming smiles, and wide eyes to what was coming next.

Nevertheless, I do think, that imagining the world at peace, with no religious walls, and a celebration of our humanity is in order. Many happy wishes for a better new year!