Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas - local presence

Today is supposed to be the busiest day of the Christmas shopping season. I don't like crowds so I'm home writing and baking bread and wrapping presents and sorting through photographs. The Better Half is off shopping for a new vehicle, something I need to do myself if I can ever figure out the balance point among what I want, need, and can afford. The Daughter Person and Son-In-Law are headed "Up North" for a Christmas visit with his relatives. I thought, earlier today, I had seen some blue sky and sunshine but it was probably just a SAD-induced hallucination. The local forecast continues cloudy, but warmer, for most of the next ten days. Sigh!

2015 lighted Christmas tree
2015 lighted Christmas tree
Photo by J. Harrington
The reason I'm sorting photos is our local Creative Arts Community is organizing the 2nd annual That's What Eye Saw photography show, opening on January 21st, 2016. I'm trying to decided if I have anything worth printing and putting on display. At the Creative Community Christmas pot luck the other night, I was fortunate to discover several other local poets/writers. We talked about organizing a writer's group, something I've been looking for for quite awhile. The Loft is a wonderful resource, but Minneapolis can be a long drive from here during January, February and March. Local is usually good and, sometimes, the more local the better, depending on how we define local and region.

Since I've started to really focus on local foods and other resources, I've been discovering that there's more to be found in "the neighborhood" than I expected. As a Christmas present to myself and those long-suffering souls who have to put up with me and my chronic dissatisfactions, I'm planning on spending the rest of this year taking a careful look at what we already have instead of looking for what's next. (You're probably noting that I've decided this after the Christmas shopping should be done.) I'm going to bring (Do or do not. There is no Try ~ Yoda) a more local balance into life as well as continue to think and write about bioregionalism. It's called walking the talk, a pretty good deal. Now, if you'll excuse me, my earlier hallucination has returned, this time in the western sky. I don't want to miss it.

Locals

By James Lasdun 

They peopled landscapes casually like trees,
being there richly, never having gone there,
and whether clanning in cities or village-thin stands
were reticent as trees with those not born there,
and their fate, like trees, was seldom in their hands.

Others to them were always one of two
evils: the colonist or refugee.
They stared back, half disdaining us, half fearing;
inferring from our looks their destiny
as preservation or as clearing.

I envied them. To be local was to know
which team to support: the local team;
where to drop in for a pint with mates: the local;
best of all to feel by birthright welcome
anywhere; be everywhere a local...

Bedouin-Brython-Algonquins; always there
before you; the original prior claim
that made your being anywhere intrusive.
There, doubtless, in Eden before Adam
wiped them out and settled in with Eve.

Whether at home or away, whether kids
playing or saying what they wanted,
or adults chatting, waiting for a bus,
or, in their well-tended graves, the contented dead,
there were always locals, and they were never us.


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