Saturday, December 25, 2010

Just Don't Kiss Me Goodnight

When I was little, maybe about 5 or 6, I was pretty scared of Santa Claus. Wonderful though he was, the thought of a big man entering our home in the wee hours of the morning, tip toeing across the wooden floors just down the hall from where I slept, was a bit too much.

I remember asking my parents to, in the nicest possible way, let Santa know that there was no need for him to enter my bedroom for a goodnight kiss. In fact, there was really no reason for him to come into my room at all, as most of his business ought to be taken care of way out there by the Christmas tree.

Christmas Eve was a sleepless night. I always heard noises out there, and feared that if he knew I were awake he would pass right over this house and go right on to the neighbor's. Everyone knows that Santa only comes when you are asleep.

At the faintest glimpse of light, I would rush into my brother's room to discuss things of the utmost importance. "Do you think he came?", I would ask. "Do you think we can look?" he would respond. We would then sneak down the hallway and steal the quickest glance in the direction of the tree. In the earliest morning light, underneath the glittering tree, the shapes of wonderful things had appeared. Something pink and purple with wheels, a box-like thing that could be the dollhouse I had asked for, some kind of dark tower shape that could just be the Skeletor Castle Grey Skull that my brother had been dreaming of.

It was the unspoken rule, however, that we could only look for half a second before waking Mom and Dad. When we had dragged them out of bed, and successfully ushered them towards the living room, Christmas had officially arrived.

There were even boot prints in the soot around the fireplace. There was nothing but a nibbled carrot stub and cookie crumbs on the plate we had set out. There was always a humorous letter.

We would sort the presents and open them one at a time, working our way right down to the stockings, a tradition we continue to this day. The day I stopped believing in Santa wasn't monumental. But the day my brother stopped believing was very sad for me.

To believe in Santa, what is that exactly? A sense of wonder, a sort of spirituality, a leap of faith, and......

Saturday, December 11, 2010


on Thanksgiving morning.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tonight I needed some Pablo Nerudo.

Sonnet XVII

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

- Pablo Neruda