Monday, December 17, 2012

Between Worlds

Melbourne, VIC

Toward the end of December I am always getting irritable.  I don’t want to have anything to do with any family gathering of any sort.  I am punishing myself for being such a stupid idiot & putting myself exactly 40,000km from the only place I’d want to be.  ....AGAIN!

This year will be my third consecutive Christmas away from home.  My third warm Christmas – I grew up where this is not a reality.  Normally, the onset of winter triggers a hormone that sends people into holiday mode.  Without this, it seems Christmas comes & goes without warning.

It’s not getting easier, but I am catching on.  Carols aren’t making me spin out & I’m not avoiding stores for a constant slap-in-the-face reminder.  Instead I’m sending out Christmas cards this week & baking shortbread.

It doesn’t mean it’s not hard.

The entirety of time spent on the road, I carry my hometown with me.  This is never more evident than from my accent.  I could shout over music at the top of my lungs ‘Fair dinkum!  Good onya!  Bonza!’ & people will still ask me where I’m from.

Not making a Christmas List is a great thing!  Not being able to sucks.  My lifestyle doesn’t allow me to crave unnecessary things.  I still want tokens of affection from the people I love, but our face-to-face yarns have long since been replaced e-coffees instead.  Just as this is written in binary rather than by hand & the music in my ears is more produced by machines than humans.  It’s an easy reality.

Last year, the only thing on my Christmas List was a pumpkin pie.  (Kiwis don’t know what real pie is.)

This year, if I were to make a List, year it would comprise of a mix of remembrances from home (Winnipeg Jets & CKUW gear, local music) & ingredients to make this one my new home (housecoat, guitar, local music).  Assembly required.
                (...and Bruce Springtseen tickets please!)

I’ve decided to hit the road during the week of the 24th.  There is no substitute for being home with the folks, & I have to stop pretending otherwise.  The past few years, Orphan Christmases have saved me where the intimate family thing failed.  It’s time to celebrate in my own way.

The 24 days of advent are a great time of the year!  Holiday parties are the best!  But the day in question is a lonely time for me.  I get to call home on Boxing Day & hear about all the fun & turkey & presents, when once again, I’m alone.

Hopefully a hike somewhere of a few days will sooth my unsettled soul.  The evergreen Aussie maple & oak trees provide a clash of culture - a pinch of Canadiana that acts as a reminder of how lucky I am to be here.

As surely as there are polar bears displayed outside the Melbourne Museum, & portraits of Neil Young in several bars downtown, I carry my hometown with me.  I am at home away from home.

Merry Christmas!  J

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