Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Atheist Carol"

I don't find the song depressing; I find it poignant, sweet. Ir's very forgiving of why we find ourselves bound by superstitions and myths: warmth out of cold as "divine intervention," etc. It's about how dark and scary reality is, how we flock for comfort, safety in numbers.

I can't belittle the need for comfort, since I have so little of my own.

The song is only sad for me because none of it applies.

There's another, atheist xmas song to which I can't even listen, "White Wine in the Sun."

I know people with families and friends don't intend hurt, but intend expressing gratitude. But I have exactly the same sensation I had when overlooked by my church at Mother's Day, watching only the women with living children, gifted a flower. Same feeling I have seeing these Mexican and Native ceremonies, lights, scents, flavors, sounds, ancient traditions. I can watch and sample, but these are not mine; I have none. And I feel a deep loss in that. Hell, as I say at the end, I don't even know if my mother is alive or dead; I certainly know nothing of cultural heritage or even a tradition against which to rebel!

I was homeless once, in a quaint, little town on the California coast, at Winter Solstice. The weather was damp and chill. I walked empty roads of tiny houses, lit and decorated. I could see the people in the warm. It's a brutally heavy feeling in the solar plexus to experience this, year after year, all alone.

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