Wednesday, December 25, 2013

special times

Christmas arrives crisp, crunchy and clear around here. A selected and special day and yet a day like any other.

The BBC has a somewhat flimsy, but still mildly interesting, rumination on the role and function of ritual in the realm of human endeavor: Attention, attention, attention... and perhaps even food tastes better and the social weave is smoothed.

Other specialties of the day include the announcement that first-class stamps will cost 49 cents come Jan. 26, up from 46 cents. The Internet continues to siphon off postal-service income but the less-used snail mail and junk mail still make their demands.

Somewhere there is war and famine. Somewhere the pope confers his blessings. Somewhere Christmas trees twinkle. Somewhere the specialness of the day asserts itself in love and loneliness, laughter and tears -- a select and etched time and place.

Age and experience may rob specialness of its heartening and disheartening luster and allure and excitement, but still, without claiming some serene and doltish heights, isn't it a bit like two unconcerned currents in a stream that meet and greet, mix and splice, stand alone and commingle ... the special and the unspecial, smooth as glass, wandering in and out of each other's realm ... nifty?

OK, you are special ... really, you are.

Except you're not and neither am I.

Crisp and crunchy and clear.

Merry Christmas.

I can't immediately find the cutline for this Reuters photo that was selected as being among the wire service's best pictures of the year. I haven't got a clue where or when it is, but I like it.

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