#142: it’s all gone mince pie (6/Dec/18)

free offer for those who make it to the end… no peeking ahead now….

I keep trying to write something about Christmas but every time I do it just ends up making me feel desolate, isolated, disconnected, and yes, even bitter…… I don’t aim for this but it’s where I seem to find myself once I put pen to paper with all these mangled thoughts caving my head in and I just need to get them out but however hard I try, like a frustrated painter never quite able to paint the picture they see in their head, the words refuse to come out as they should, instead emerging less formed, shapeless, garbled, hasty, spilling out before they have time to even know what they’re trying to say… it’s not easy being surrounded by it, Christmas and all its trappings, and trappings they are… which way to turn, which way to turn, it’s the time of year when societies contradictions are exaggerated and shockingly exposed, hypocrisy becoming the advent norm, a sense of elation and despair in the same winter’s breath all threatening to implode in a single day… I’m not religious, nor a pagan, nor big on consumerism being more a minimalist, nor am I sold on the sales and special offers, the promises promised by marketing, whether from the godly or godless, the Church of our Lord or the Church of our Greed… should I be on knees or pillaging the Temple before all the chestnuts are gone?…… sadly, the most exciting thing I’ll probably do on Christmas day is treat myself to more cranberries on my porridge…… once upon a time I used to get tens of dozens of Christmas cards, so much so I’d run out of wall space and string on which to hang them, but now there are less than I can count on the fingers on one hand… of course, my inability to get my own act together to send any is evident, even if I knew the addresses of people I claim to know or to be my ‘friends’, these days it’s all about social media, email or texting, few can even recite anyone’s phone number anymore… it’s not just apathy, it’s finding space in the panic, a totally illogical panic I know, makes no sense to me either…… see, see, see what I mean, I try to write something, and what comes out is either a rant, a tirade, or some other self-serving, self-pitying nonsense…… every year as the dreaded time gets closer I vow I will get involved this year, hopefully in some worthwhile and worthy way, I will send cards, I will accept invites to everything (although to be fair I haven’t actually had any), I will get a proper bed and stop sleeping on the floor, I will put up a tree, although for me it would be a Holly tree and a living one at that, in a pot that I can plant later outside… the Holly was here at least the original Christmas tree and not the now more commonly-used Spruce, and if you find a female plant you may indeed have berries already growing: instantly-decorated tree!… I will, I will, I will… and then I don’t… and this year is heading the exact same way, surrounded by good-time festive revelling and those who believe in something at least even if it’s just eating mince pies and claiming they have to eat Brussels sprouts even though they hate them because it’s what you do at Christmas… I actually like them, have them any time they’re seasonal, albeit in moderation, they do have a reputation after all…… you will never see me wearing a Santa hat though, that’s one festive frivolity too far…… it’s strange to feel this ambivalent, to want to take part at least a bit while at the same time feeling almost threatened by it all…… you see, it’s the hypocrisy, the contradiction, and the exclusiveness of Christmas despite all its claims… it’s all gone a bit moribund this blog, I warned you it might, this is exactly what I mean when trying to convey what I mean and it never quite works out, and there’s much more to it, not to mention my tendency to go around in circles, but clearly I’ve gone on long enough, too long…. I will stop, I will stop, I will……………..
//this transmission has been interrupted for an important announcement: Chestnuts! Two bags for the price of one, a special and limited pre-pillaging the Temple offer…. exclusive! (terms and conditions apply, this offer expires at the end of this…..)//

© 2018 robert greig

#131: gathering speed (28/Nov/18)

listen, listen, listen, it’s gathering speed, garnering momentum, getting its breath, a second wind, or is it its third or fourth, or dozenth, another storm stirring an unerring frenzy brewing, another storm is growing legs and stalking the landscape sky-scraping clouds in a restless progress at first subtle hardly bothering a twig and now it’s found a voice swimming through the keys clumsily at first in search of the lost chord… everything is starting to resonate calling out to each other like warnings, pass the message on, pass the message on, while unable to resist its siren moans that will soon become wails along walls and streets, between the trees snarling and tearing; it’s already there in its timbre, hints and whispers enlisting the turbulence that’s waited impatient all this time in nooks and crannies, waiting for a purpose to indulge decadence unchallenged… this vulgar wind cares not a jot what we think or do or have left exposed, it’ll grab and snag, tear and snare whatever’s not nailed down… it’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming and growing, preening itself into peak perfection, this storm , yet another or is it the same one as the last time back again for a second round in case it left anything untouched last will be sure to get this time, or is it the third or the fourth or the dozenth time around for this reckless soul… already it shows little mercy and it’s only just getting its feet under the table, a wind winding itself up  ‘til conjuring rain, and rain it will, allies in ire taunting and teasing one another to further extremes; which one will outdo the other?… more, more, more!… their cries almost anguished, pushing their boundaries, shredding their limits, magicians pulling yet more from their hats, alchemists un-creating and once it’s begun, which it already has, there’s no going back, no returns accepted, no refunds… gathering speed, garnering momentum, a head of steam, uncoiling, unravelling, unburdening their agonised souls upon us………

© 2018 robert greig

#93: silence of the buzzard (13/Nov/18)

it flew from the oak, huge as it was, so much so I wondered how it could fly at all…. but fly it did and easily, smoothly, it was after all a bird, big for one for certain but one nonetheless as on outstretched wings the buzzard abandoned the tree as though it had just then popped into existence having not been before just that second so effective was its camouflage, its plumage blending almost seamlessly at any time of the year but particularly so among the sepias, russets and golds of autumn… it is still autumn, isn’t it?… the flip-flop season, one minute could be winter and the next could be just as easily late summer but no, no it’s most definitely, ‘ish, autumn as leaves even now after so many blustering storms continue to fall from the ever-thinning crowns of the canopies to litter lawns, path and streets, gutters, bus shelters, benches, tops of cars and anyone foolish to stand still long enough, with even the smaller bushes and shrubs now temporarily adorning these hand-me downs, sometimes ill-fitting and sometimes uncannily convincing you’d never know of their former preloved existence.. but that was a whole season ago, a season that left and took the warmth with it leaving the sun barely enthusiastic enough to lift itself off the horizon… for such an enormous wingspan the buzzard left the tree owl-like from where it perched silent, vigilant, patient, almost omniscient with barely a fuss nor even a sound…… if only, if only I had the simplicity of the buzzards life, hard though no doubt it is at times, still, there is envy………

© 2018 robert greig