Meredith Bronwen Mallory (garnettrees) wrote,
Meredith Bronwen Mallory
garnettrees

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Six Little Lights

This evening, I went to the annual menorah-lighting ceremony down at the Wayvern Community Center-- it's the first year it hasn't coincided with the first night of Hanukkah but, given the timing, it's completely understandable. I've been looking forward to it with a tenacity perhaps a bit more intense than truly necessary but, for me, Hanukkah allows for an amazing lateral sleight-of-hand. Now you're in the maelstrom and crush of holiday madness, marketing, family, and retail; now you've slipped behind the glass, to some quiet place G-d has cleaved out of the chilly night and competing, blaring music systems. It's supposed to be a family holiday, but it's always just me there. I'll be honest and admit that I sometimes feel a little sorry for this, but not much. It's my space, and I need it. I sit on a bench and eat my latke; I watch the kids dance and chase each other, and… be kids. The Rabbi says the blessings, a boy and girl from the Hebrew School help light the giant menorah. They have a petting zoo for the kids (nothing says 'Happy Hanukkah' like a llama? ^_^'), which results in about as many cavity-inducing cute and zany moments as you can imagine. Sometimes I see a child or parent I know from my time at Lichfield, or the local public school. That's about as close as I get to really participating, but it's nice to watch.

I'm having a hard time with this holiday season in particular, and I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because I've been in a lot of pain lately (my most recent migraine lasted 52 hrs, and ended in a trip to the doctor), maybe it's stress from work, or I might just have myself wound up in anticipation of the inevitable family drama. I'm trying to pull myself together, get my head down, and power through it, with varying degrees of success. (Sitting at my desk this morning crying probably doesn't qualify. ^^) But I need to have something to believe in, outside all the plastic nonsense and head-long crash into zealous consumerism. I'm not looking down on people who want to give and get gifts-- I want to do the same. I'm not looking down on anyone who wants to enjoy the holiday in a secular manner, since that's mostly what I do. I just get frustrated with all the packaging-- all the horrible, petty evil I see as a part of my job, and all the vapid human nastiness that coalesces around retail this time of year.

I don't need or want you to believe in G-d, in any of His/Her guises. I don't need you to observe or adhere to anything. But all of these festivities started because the winter gets dark and cold, and human beings wanted to remind themselves that the light can/will come back-- literally, metaphorically, and metaphysically. Maybe it sounds trite, but that's what I want; to anticipate a turn for the better, and to have people I care about to wait and keep watch with me.

I love you guys. I hope you're all able to find a measure of peace and contentment this holiday-- I hope you know I believe we all deserve it.

Love,
Meredith

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Tags: personal, religion, very-jewish-thanks, why-am-i-related-to-these-people
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