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Christmas.

Don't have much to offer at the moment other than maybe a small ramble in the stream of consciousness vein.

I'm not sure exactly what Christmas is supposed to be about anymore.

For most, I suppose it's about being with family, both the loved and the barely tolerated. Exchanging gifts. An orgy of eating and piling up of presenty booty.

I had a good Christmas, with friends and adopted family.

It felt good to be around people without feeling completely out of place. Or more appropriately, to be around specific people that I can relax around, forget about that feeling of disjointedness for a while.

The best gifts I got were the unexpected gestures that aren't a part of my own store of memories from holidays past. The hug from behind without warning. The kiss on the forehead "just because, sweetie."

Those weren't the kind of gifts handed out in my family. You'll never know exactly how much those gifts, above any other, mean to me.

Gyfu is the runic symbol for giving. 'The act of giving, generosity. Generosity is a grace and an honor, a support and a glory, and a help and sustenance to any outcast who is deprived of it.' Giving is the key to prosperity. When you do not feel prosperous, begin by sharing. When you do not feel you have enough to share, begin by forgiving.

I don't know about forgiveness. I'm not at a place where I can see that.

I do know, however, that I am richer now than I was a year ago today.

Not because of a tidy mound of retail indulgences.

But because I'm surrounded by some of the most prosperous people anyone could ever hope to know.

Gyfu means being receptive to the gifts of others. As such it may also mean relationships, as it suggests give and take.

Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. To take the gift. Unwrap the thing held out to you in honest love and friendship.

The story of Christmas is of wanderers and weary people with burdens seeking shelter and rest. A tired man and his young bride, heavy with child, far from home and in need of safety.

The part of the story that's left out is the labor. The act of childbirth. The blood and the screams that signal new life entering the world. I've never seen a creche or nativity scene that included the afterbirth, the bloody straw, the pale and sweat-streaked face of a young woman who has just given birth. We only see the lit-from-behind aftermath, the haloed infant surrounded by benign animals and vaguely represented adults.

We've all of us been through so much this year. The journeys, the rounds of doors closed. The red and white hours of muscle and nerve stretched to tearing.

And today, we all still had enough to be able to give something to each other.

Any day that happens, that is Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone.
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From The Core:
=========
Self-Important Scientist: "Excuse me - but - is this really the best we could do?"

Hacker: "How many languages do you speak?"

Scientist: "Five, actually."

Hacker: "Well I speak one: One zero one zero zero. With that I could steal your money, your secrets, your sexual fantasies, your whole life - any country, any place, any time I want. We multi-task like you breathe. I couldn't think as slow as you if I tried."
============

Geeks are so - fucking - HOT.

Oh, yeah.

Merry Christmas.

;)
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Oooooh, and yes - my favorite Christmas tradition - listening to David Sedaris read "The Santaland Diaries."

Hooray for bitter Christmas Cheer!
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Since a day, for me, isn't over until I've slept, it is, for me, still Thanksgiving Day.

It was a good day. Cooking was involved. That always pleases me.

The company of friends and those people who, for me, are my chosen family, were all around.

Get used to having the rug snatched from under your feet enough times in rapid and prolonged succession, you get a bit gun-shy of being thankful for anything you may not have tomorrow.

I'm not one much for giving thanks these days. With some times in life, you take what you get and you call it enough.

But when you see it in front of you, something, someone to be thankful for, for as long as that thing is there, you breathe a sigh of relief for that one day that what you love and hold dear is there for you to acknowledge its value.

Beyond that, you just keep breathing.

I did a reading last night. I don't know why, what made me do it. As with so many other things, the cards aren't something I've trusted myself to turn to for council, or even the momentary illusion of comfort, for quite a while.

I don't know. Sometimes you just reach for something familiar when the time feels right.

...

Center Positions: Ace of Pentacles, reversed, covered by the Queen of Pentacles.

The promise of possibility, somewhat distant, hard to see. Somewhat blocked, but present. The promise of potential. Starting point of a quest for a worthwhile life.

Crossed by the Queen, in this position neither upright nor reversed, she wavers. She needs to be reminded that her srength is made of simple things. She needs to remember the story of herself; the landholder, secure in her possessions, forward leaning, inwardly focused. Presently, asleep in her own dream.

Distant Past Foundation: Seven of Cups, reversed. Sentimentality, being taken in by false emotional projections, inability to choose, ruled by wish-fulfillment and fantasy.

Recent Past: Six of Cups, reversed. The hands scrabbling behind the back for the feel of past connections, the pang of finding no purchase there - the possibility for regeneration. The chance to establish new connections. Emotional turbulence.

Immediate future: The World. The culmination of the journey of the Major Arcana. The Fool finds Wisdom. The work of the Magician and the High Priestess that required stillness and every ounce of reserve, the guardian of the World accomplishes with ease as the rest of Creation travels around it at its pace.

Present Intention: Nine of Swords, reversed. A disruption in the dreaming that brings no rest. A mind eating itself - recognizing that it hungers for something more. Suspicion of self. The desire to reach beyond the pain of self-inflicted injury.

Bringing In: Two of Cups, reversed. Ideals revealed as insubstantial. The tongue that finds the empty spot; probes the hollow space. A bitter taste.

Sending Out: The Magician. A well-crafted exterior. Capable, conrolled. The sleight of hand that can, upon occasion, produce real gold. The one who has all the tools - and the ability to use them.

Secret Wishes, Secret Fears: Eight of Pentacles, reversed. Focused on perfection and missing the flaws. Sweat tickles the brow, clouds the sight, and the mistroke of impatience can cause the forfeit of the prize.

Current Direction: The Hanged Man, reversed. Seen from this direction, he almost appears to be dancing. Poised on one foot. But everything you learned by having your head beneath your feet, your thoughts shaken loose until only those things you knew you trusted were left - do you remember what that was like, that feeling of weightlessness, the serenity, the anchor of unattachment? How much longer do you want to go on, missing that?

Aren't we all just a pack of cards?

What am I thankful for?

...

"Are you always this sentimental?"

"I had a good day."

"You had the Alliance on you. Criminals and savages. Half the people on this ship have been shot or wounded, including yourself, and you're harboring known fugitives."

"Well we're still flying."

"That's not much."

"It's enough."


...

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. G'night.

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