Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Christmas

This Christmas, let's try making it less about stuff and more about learning ways to improve our relations with our loved ones, neighbors, co-workers and imperfect strangers. If we need a model to follow, let's try learning from the Rasta by adopting the art of simple living so we're not held hostage by the illusion of success and power. If the Rasta way is too much of an offense to your conditioning, then try dipping your feet in Buddhism or the notion that once you let go of worldly desires you then become free of pain. And in case that, too, is a bit of a stretch then how about taking inventory of your vocab and like the Lakota eliminating such words like maybe and maybe not, so that folks know what you mean and where you stand? Whatever flies your kite, teaching our children that Christmas is about buying things and not making things; keeping up appearances and not honoring our ancestors, only perpetuates a self-serving mindset.

Yea, I know. How do you show true solidarity to Brother Jesus while sill putting a smile on someone's face? And what's so bad about buying someone a dress tie or a neck chain? Well, it's not so much the tie but how a man can wrap it around his neck so tightly that he's no longer recognizable or the Congo blood it takes for that gold band to get to Wal Mart.

Last Christmas I bought poetry books and indian incense sticks for my friends and they, in turn, gave me things that are close to my heart, if not my bed pillow-- journal books, black markers, sea shells that they themselves picked off from the beach, and an African cloth for my vending table.
This Christmas I'm supporting Black photographers, since only Paris and Berlin seem to be showing them love. I'm asking Paven Carter to make me a 2010 photo calendar, buying two of Ocean Morisset's latest prints; even helping R.P. Risbrook and Iris Huey promote their film projects (check'em out on facebook). I'm also pushing Deborah Willis' new visual, Posing Beauty, namely Lauren Kelley, with a kiss back to Regine Romain. And so that I don't take the artist for granted, I'm gonna learn not to judge (myself, included); send a few peeps a handwritten note (remember handwriting?!), thanking them for their continued kind presence in my life...

...My way of avoiding all the hustle n bustle, long lines and aggy sales clerks, and just feeling the holiday spirit.

Peace and gratitude, people!

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