Sunday, December 27, 2015

merry Christmas

Christmas is...

Deciding to set the Christmas tree even though it's less than a week to Christmas, and then making sure it's a pleasant event by having some stout beer, almond paste sweets, and smoked mussels on crackers.

Making your Christmas tree as kitsch as possible, hanging every bauble available, and making sure your two Icelandic elves hang in a prominent place.

Finally scratching your travel scratchmap from last year's trip to Scotland, deciding to only scratch off those places visited together with the habib, and going as far as only scratching off the approximate areas visited, making for a very unimpressive but a very inspiring travel map - so much left to discover!

Eating way too much way too good food with family, including vegan romeros (rosemary cooked as a dish with mole sauce, nopales - cacti - and potatoes), bacalao (cod fish) mom-style, empanadas (stuffed pastries), turkey (ok, not vegan either, but was curious to try after so many years), vegan fruitcake (dense as hell, and so scrumptious with chocolate, figs, walnuts, cherries...).

Having a toast with champagne after dinner, followed by a heated discussion about Catholicism, sex, Lars von Trier, film, terrorism, foreign interventions, war, religion, the value of life, Occidentalism, Orientalism, the media, press freedom, cultural imperialism, soap operas, and life as a soap opera writer, more or less in that order. And leaving afterwards with warm, loving goodbyes, smiles, and very cool gifts, including a bottle of 15 year old Glenfiddich, gorgeous ceramics, and vintage toys.

Having a nasty argument on Christmas day. Which leads me to think I should really delve into Buddhism's path of "right speech" (sammā-vācā, 正語, which views violent, abusive, divisive speech as equally wrong as violent physical action, of which absolutely refrain. Of course, then there is a very long Judaic tradition on quarrelsome unity, a community of contention, where quarrel (or debate, controversy, machloket, machloykes or מחלוקת) is evidence of coexistence (though originally it refers to a religious legalistic discussion, I don't see how this could not be taken to the secular realm). 

The abundant and filling food for the stomach and heart from Christmas Eve gives way to a not less abundant and not less long-digestion food for thought after Christmas Day... Any suggestions for reads?

Merry Christmas.

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