Enjoying Another Christmas

It’s been two months since wrote this blog’s first “journal” entry: sharing what I’m doing or what I’ve done.

It seemed like a good idea, at the time.

Particularly since this blog’s tagline is “Following Catholic beliefs and practices in America: one man’s experience.”

I still think it’s a good idea. But I’m learning that reporting my routines isn’t easy. No, that’s not entirely accurate.

It’s easy enough.

All I’d have to do is write “woke up, made coffee, sat down, drank coffee, read online comics, made more coffee” — and keep going until I got to “signing off for the night.”

Easy, yes. Interesting, no.

Not even to me, and I’m as egocentric as most folks. Maybe moreso, since I spend time and effort on writing: time I could use for reading more comics, playing solitaire and sharing cat memes on social media.

So, instead of a tiresome recount — or is that account? — of my daily routine, I’ll pick a few events that seem worth sharing. In my opinion. Your experience may vary.

Weirdness and 2018, Mostly

Even my annual ‘getting weird’ zenith isn’t particularly exceptional. Maybe “nadir” is a more appropriate word.

But this year’s isn’t nearly as bad as year-before-last. At least not that I’ve noticed. On the other hand, interrupted sleep is still an issue. (January 7, 2018)

I suspect that I’m getting over 2018.

That was an interesting year. Particularly the last few months.

I experienced a transient ischemic attack, or something like it, in August. It’s a stroke, but without lasting effects. About that, I’m not complaining. Then, in mid-September, my father-in-law died. That was, and is, a major loss for me, the family and community. (September 19, 2018; August 12, 2018)

This year, in comparison, was uneventful. Mostly.

The local/regional healthcare outfit wants folks my age to have a Health Care Directive. It’s one of those ‘you don’t have to but you should’ things.

Filling that out was an interesting experience. (November 24, 2019)

Brooding and Books, Death and Depression


(From Gustave Doré, via Library of Congress, used w/o permission.)
(Gustave Doré’s illustration for Poe’s “The Raven.” (1884))

There’s a line, somewhere, with rational acceptance of physical death on one side. And morbid brooding on the other.

I prefer the rational side, although staying there is harder than I like.

Not that I’m as far gone as Poe’s star-crossed scholar. Raven-crossed, actually. I’m still impressed he saw letting a nocturnal tapper inside as a good idea.

That said, I see a little of myself in that nameless young doofus.

I often react to stress by experiencing insomnia and seeking “surcease of sorrow” in books and today’s analogs of “many a quaint and curious volume.”

“…Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore — Nameless here for evermore….”
(“The Raven,” E. A. Poe, from Richmond Semi-Weekly Examiner (Richmond, VA), vol. II, no. 93 (September 25, 1849) via eapoe.org)

It’s not an entirely satisfactory approach, but arguably better than diving into denial. And certainly preferable to sinking into the shadow of a “pallid bust of Pallas.” (April 8, 2018)

I don’t like living with autism spectrum disorder, PTSD and depression. But accepting reality, and dealing with it, makes sense. And that’s another topic. (June 24, 2018; December 17, 2017)

And Now for Something Completely Different

Getting weird or not, I enjoy the Advent-Christmas season.

Our kitty corner neighbors have their array of lights and glowing decorations deployed.

My son has put up the household’s understated Christmas lights and creche.

Holiday-themed songs abound on the radio. Mostly of the “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Mommy Kissing the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Grandma Got Run Over by the Twelve Days of Christmas” variety.

And as the days grow shorter, my mind wanders back to memories of childhood; recalling the wonder of a department store’s Christmas window and my first encounter with Walt Kelly’s “Deck Us All With Boston Charlie.” And that’s yet another topic.

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About Brian H. Gill

I'm a sixty-something married guy with six kids, four surviving, in a small central Minnesota town. I mostly write and make digital art. I'm only interested in three things: that which exists within the universe; that which exists beyond; and that which might exist.
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