Money. It’s beyond my ken today. A colleague who escaped to Maryland—a delightful man born about 20 years too late for me, darn it—sends a beautiful Christmas e-mail in response to the various moans and whines his friends (or at least, I) sent him a week or two ago, when he had the temerity to ask how folks are doing. In it, he suggests, through a Christina Rosetti poem, that although this may be the winter of our discontent, all is not lost. Then he enumerates all the blessings he and his family have experienced over the past year, complete with pictures..
• of his sister’s beautiful wedding
• of his sweetly pretty daughter’s senior-year exploration of the very fine schools to which she has applied
• of his and his wife’s 25th-year anniversary
• of good times with old friends of good times with new friends
• of the outcome of a Presidential campaign
Well, my friends. The world doesn’t seem to be skateboarding toward Hell, after all.
So let us take our eyes off the stock market, forget our job searches or our worry over tomorrow’s pending layoff, mourn not the lost annual bonus and the nonexistent raise and the trashed 401(k), laugh off the absurdity of academic and office politics, do not even think about our credit-card debt or (heaven forfend!) our budget, quit wondering how our nation will clean up the mess left by a decade’s misrule, and instead start counting pleasures and joys.
At Trader Joe’s I saw a handsome man (he, too, alas, born 20 years too late) and smiled at him. He smiled back, radiance signifying a born gentleman of the genuine variety, and I thought ah! Thank God my father isn’t here to throttle me for smiling at a Black man, and thank God our lives have changed so gloriously that at last a Black man can be President of the United States.
Later, as we all stood in the check-out line, another pale woman remarked on the beauty of his violet shirt, which he wore with a conservative tie, and I said to him, “So! That’s how you get women to smile at you.” He laughed and replied, “Must be! It surely can’t be me!” Confirming, we might say, one’s initial impression.
• Vicky C got rich on her yard sale and we met some fantastic people.
• I did not get laid off (yet):
• We had a spectacular sunset, which Mrs. Accountability caught on camera a great deal better than I did.
• My son said he loves living in the house we’re copurchasing. His roommate’s rent goes a long way toward covering his share of the amazing expenses the thing generates.
• Many good times were had with friends.
• An amazing new dog came into my life.
• Many beautiful things grew, all year round, in the desert.
…is another day.
In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen,
Snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,