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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Santa Clause, Cherry Nose, Holy Night

I haven't written a blog post for weeks. I don't know what got me - it's been a bad period for me - too much stress at work, too many travels and things to do, too many sleepless nights and hectic days. And....inspiration is such an delicate thing. Sometimes you think it will stay forever, the next day - it is gone.

This period of the year time usually accelerates for me. It is probably because December is kind of short because of the Christmas and New Year holidays and I want to cram the same number of things in less days.

And there is the accumulated fatigue from the year. I haven't counted my days of travel this year but I have been away for at least 50 days and 20 of them were during the last two months. That's a lot, at least for me.

And there is also the end of projects and books I have worked on. Although, on one hand there is a sense of relief that something is over, there is also a sense of emptiness and the questions 'was it worth it?', 'was it good?'. Some new things are starting as well but I still can't get motivated enough about them.

I definitely need some slow time, some long mornings and evenings with friends therefore I am waiting for the Christmas break. I am really looking forward for around 10 days of no work thoughts and laptop use only for blog purposes. I just have to get rid of this terrible habit of answering e-mail at 3.30 am just because I have the instinct of checking my work e-mail any time. That's too bad, constant connectivity is terrible.

I guess I just need Santa Claus to come for me with some peace. Several days ago Santa came at my work place and my kids were quite happy to get to meet him.

Here is Boris reciting a poem to get a bag of chocolates. He had to overcome his initial fear from Santa though. The day before he shared with me that he doesn't like Santa as Santa who came to their kindergarten had a gun and wanted to beat him up. I hope this is not true. This reminds me though of an article I read recently on how in 1951 a group of French Catholics burned an effigy of Santa protesting against Santa's growing importance to families and commerce in a way 'stealing' some of Christmas original symbolics and passing it on to a pagan symbol.

Claude Levi-Strauss reacted to this and tried to explain the Santa Clause phenomenon as marking the border between childhood, adolescence and adult age. He calls it a 'myth of initiation', mysteries that adults know and kids - don't. I still remember my horror and disappointment when my mother told me that Santa doesn't exist. I also remember the wonderful December evenings when Santa came to my mother's dental clinic bringing me a nice toy (toys were fewer these days and their value was higher) or...New Year in Veliko Tarnovo when Santa left gifts in front of the door.

Levi-Strauss also explains Santa's existence by the need to limit the 'obligatory' gift-giving period to once per year (he must have forgotten the birthdays). It seems that the origin of Santa Claus is found in the Abboth Liess, Abbas Stultorum, Lord of Misrule. The good Santa Clause appeared as a symmetric personality to Roman Saturn who ate children. He has something to do with the Scandinavian Julbok - underground demon bringing gifts to the kids.

And.... there must be something about Santa Claus if Bob Dylan started singing carols.


Dumdad said...

Yes, it's important to take time out and enjoy some calm. And a nice glass of wine.

Bon weekend!

Polly said...

Inspiration IS a very delicate thing, I love that sentence! I feel my inspiration is hybernating, probably from the lack of sun. It makes me feel a little better to know that I'm not the only one with that problem. Sorry :-)

I hope you both get some good rest over Christmas.


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