I feel depressed today. Everybody is too busy with preparing for the holiday season to give me any time and attention. It’s the same old thing every year, people doing this obligatory ritual while I just stand by in bewilderment. The truth is that no one has to participate in the frenzy. Christmas has been terribly uncomfortable for me ever since Mom passed away. But that reminds me of something interesting. When I was at the food pantry Saturday, I gazed on the clients, these ordinary people in public, and realized that I didn’t judge them by their appearance. The weird thing about Mom was that she appraised everyone by their personal physical beauty or the lack thereof. It was so Scott Fitzgerald of her. But it made Mom unusual and unique, and rather fascinating. She was a true aesthete, utterly preoccupied with surface looks of everything including people. I learned her way of perceiving things, but at last I’m aware that appearance is deceiving. That is, I view people the way the majority does anymore. But as I stood there watching people, the thought of Mom’s perspective crossed my mind. I’m quite removed from her way of seeing now, and I expect that a style of my own will come to my attention. Probably I already have my own perspective, but am just not conscious of it… Back to the holidays: they’re always difficult because my mother died on 14 December. I always remember her when the time comes around. My mom, the big Edgar Poe fan, the one with the aesthetic personality that most people couldn’t understand. It misguided her in matters of love. She was blind to people’s interior qualities, or valued them less than a beautiful exterior. Mom married three times and chose badly every time. I dunno. The way she lived had a Byronic essence to it as well. There was something racy and dangerous about her audacity in love relationships. It wasn’t that she was dumb— not at all. Mom was very intelligent but in an unorthodox way. It makes me think of the story by James Joyce, “The Dead.” It’s in the collection called Dubliners. Joyce points out how people are bankrupt in passion and desire, emotionally dead inside. When my parents eloped together they did something selfish, but Lord Byron and James Joyce would applaud their heroism, even stand up and cheer! Because, they acted authentically, they dared to do something most people wouldn’t dream of.
I for one wouldn’t say they made a mistake… would you?
Have a great evening,
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