Operation Jolly

Once upon a midnight fare, and for the first time in many years, I decided to really think about trying to send out cards for Christmas. I hope all of you who should have received my very special thought, knew that the card you didn’t get was from me.

Truth is, I’ve become analog retentive. It’s shameful. Too damned digital. I just wrote a column for a real newsprint newspaper that came off a hot press and smelled like a fresh tattoo and everything, and I almost panicked when I first received my copy of the folded up thing … seems the publication lacked any USB connection for downloading its contents to my phone. I had to actually peel apart every page by hand–both thumb and forefingers at work. Seems the actual swiping of pages is an old craft indeed. Can you imagine reading anything in the days before it was all back-lit, zoomed into, and pinched just right?

It’s been a strange year. I uprooted my family and left a home of 22-years to make a new go of things in a far off land where we had but a few known friends in the region. Alas, it’s been a welcomed joy to grow in friendship with so many new people in our lives; but regretful that so many close friends are now a good distance away. There’s new jobs, new bike paths, new dog-parks to pal around in and a vast sea of opportunity literally all around us now.

I miss the sweet scent of sage, but the transition to the salty mist of sea air is a welcome change.

At the same time, the world feels a shade more grim than ever before. Between fear of the common cold, the new cold war and the so-called cold-cuts sitting out on the counter too long, it becomes imperative at some point to just breathe, relax, leap, land, and roll with it all so you can get back up on your feet quickly, to try another leap.

Much of our family and friends are getting up there; loved ones are passing; some are becoming homeless; and as the system fails them, we have front row seats. My focus has grown more near-sited as I age. The reach seems more slight. The steps less sure, so no need to try to be home for Christmas anymore, but to just stay there in the first place seems more the ticket.

So, I said all this to explain why maybe my Christmas card design this year looks like a poster for some post-apocalyptic steam punk film, made on location in Beijing. We are what we doodle I suppose, so just chalk it up to a precarious year at best for not knowing what lay around the next horizon.

Here’s to the next chapter. May it be warmer without affecting the ice caps; may it be brighter, without causing a rash of any kind; and may all your Christmas’ be white, if you like the snow, but without any misconstrued  notions about race being an issue in any way. Group hug to all, and may my next year’s Christmas card be a bit more jolly and bright. If you’ll forgive me, I think I’ll start working on it now …sketch1481482980827blank