Yes, here I am once again sharing something more that I read in Gillian Clarke's At the Source. There is so much to love about this book. So much that she writes resonates with me that I am constantly dog-earing pages and underlining or starring or otherwise noting all the interesting and worthy (and there is lots that is worthy here) bits that I would like to remember. I think I need to resurrect my paper journal (but then this online space here is really my reading journal these days) so I can write down and remember more passages that catch my eye.
I have finished the monthly essays and now just have a few general essays (am reading one on poetry at the moment!) to finish the book. I read "December" yesterday and found myself mentally agreeing with everything she has to say about the holidays.
"I try to ignore Christmas. It all starts too soon. I hate the bling, the cheap glitter, the unremitting materialism, the waste, the flashing lights, the destruction of rural darkness by the spreading disease of giant Santas and snowmen, and God help us, flashing inflatable cribs. I want an airgun for Christmas so that I can shoot Santa Claus and watch him deflate with a hiss. Lights fidget on houses all the way from Ceredigion to Cardiff, eating the ozone layer and melting the Greenland glaciers. Where is the romance of the one lit tree in the window we used to count on winter walks with the kids? Bah! Humbug!"
Oh, I thought I was just being curmudgeonly by feeling the same (and I think the same way when I pass my neighbor's inflatable snowman and Santa every morning--I can hear the 'whiz' of electricity and can only think how cheesy the display looks). Apparently I am not only not alone but I suspect there are many more like us out there. I actually would love the holidays if it weren't all so over-the-top and commercial like it is now. It just feels staged and the pressure to buy and be merry quickly weighs me down. Give me a little bit of Dickens and one small tree with plain white lights and very, very simple presents, quiet and peacefulness and the holidays would for me be far happier.