Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My holiday bird is a phoenix

Once again I am doing something different, unfamiliar for a "holiday". Here am I again wandering into someone else's structure, secret language of their family. I seem to have yet to create my own rituals around most holidays, and the ones I have invented seems more like phoenixes, burning up in my past being reborn into still new plumage.

Perhaps that is my tradition, to reinvent, recreate, blend what is known with what is new year time about me, about my life. There was a time when I could not imagine ever not going to my family Thanksgiving, I did choose not to go from to time over the years. Sometime because I went else, or I lived too far away. With various partners I have attempted to start something but when relationships end, the attempts to create those familial habits turn to a pile of ashes of things that have passed on.

My pattern, when alone, is to try on other families' customs but unlike Goldilocks none of them are just right. Oh, they sometimes feel that way, especially when it's been my lover's family. In reality, though I dearly enjoy my far and few between family gatherings, my family is not really close - only gathering twice a year for most of life, and those gatherings have shrunk as died and reformation by marriages have thinned the branches even further. Stepping into others' families have always been filled with hope and dread. I long for an extended family that thrills, annoys, and loves one another; one where we gather for no reason, randomly and share little bits, hide others, but there is always laughter. When I have had a glimpse into that possibility I then fight the urge to run away; it's too close, too much expectation. The annoyance and obligation overshadow the warmth and I am left feeling claustrophobic. There really is no pleasing me in this arena, I know that but yet I search, hope, and wonder when my turn comes to have that family that meets my hopes and dreams. It won't happen, at least not with perfection, and certainly not without me taking an active part in the annoyance, laughter, and warmth.

This is related to my recent whinging about being single, about never having that happy ever after. How does one create that "family" if one is single? Who makes up the members? Surely I have enough friends to create my own ragtag crew ala Charlie Brown, but there will be no grandmother to scoop us all up in breast of kin that are the grown ups who provide. I am that grown up now, but who and where is my tribe? I remain a nomad, regardless of living in one place for over a year, I roam on more esoteric planes all the time it seems; constantly seeking something that may not be findable, so perhaps I should enjoy the journey more. Maybe some of us are not meant to hold rituals in the same manner that others do. Perhaps I am more of a catalyst than a stable solution; jumping into things and seeing what happens; what to take onward with me, and what to leave behind for others to amalgamate for themselves.

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