Saturday, December 25, 2010

the Christmas card

The air is cold, so let's write down our letters. The sky is gray, so let's settle all our distant wishes with postage and pictures cast out into the winter world. So it is snowmen or baby animals, family pictures or gilded manger scenes. Jesus versus world peace, Santa versus the eskimo. A cardboard sentiment of secular blessings or pious love, our hopes that we can cross the silence damping down our hearts written in slippery ink. The night is dark, so let's try to find some light.

We hold these lists of blood and names, these crisp scraps of kin and time. Childhood friends and second cousins, lovers now married and friends now divorced. From our daily entanglements to our forgotten markers, from those at the table to those outside all our circles, we give what words we may spare. The promise we want to keep to ourselves, that we will never forget.

I grant you all my least binding wishes, those that leave room for any missing details. The dead pets left resting and the troubling rumors overlooked. Our past scrapes and grudges unmentioned as if we all can learn to forget. Our bruises and kisses and all those enduring words. As if there was a love that abides these slips and ruins. As if love was enough to sustain us through all our lapses, through the conspiracies of time and geography. I speak to you of hope like smoke trailing into the distance. Despite these dying fires, I wish you all the best.

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