Thursday, December 14, 2017

Landing on the beach

The beach was eerily vacant today, the sea uncommonly placid. A gnome-like man with a wide girth dressed in billowing red shorts walked along the shore intently peering into the beach as though searching for a lost object. As I cycled down the beach the dark shadows cast by the racing clouds moved like transparent buildings across the face of the sand. There was a scent of mistletoe in the cool wind from the west.

We now approach the Winter Solstice. In the lobby of our building the courier packages were lined along the wall of the post boxes like treasures on Santa's conveyor belt. Residents have decorated their double front doors with enormous wreaths.  Preposterous displays of North Pole antics (penquins fishing atop igloos) adorn the lawns of Ocean-front homes. The street lamps drip with festive seasonal decorations. Meanwhile the sea birds assemble upon the beach facing in the direction of the rapidly descending sun.

I will interested to see if the current political climate in the United States of America alters the erstwhile burgeoning reaction to dilution of Christmas cheer. Specifically there has for the past number of years been a palpable resistance to any diminution of the Christian thrust of the holidays surrounding what is traditionally called the "Twelve Days of Christmas".

"The twelve days of Christmas are the twelve days between Christmas Day, Dec. 25th, the birth of Jesus, and the Epiphany, Jan. 6th, the day Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi (Wise Men) and the revelation of Christ as the light of the world." 

Following the rejection on December 12th of Donald J. Trump's abysmal candidate Judge Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate election, the entire country appears to be awakening to a moderate, all-inclusive posture which contrasts with the focussed and bigoted likes of Moore (such as the disturbingly isolationist, nationalist and white-supremacist Steve Bannon). It is in my personal experience a universal and unqualified reaction of all with whom I have communicated that the election of intelligent and dignified Doug Jones represents the first of what promises to be an avalanche of change in the current poisoned American political landscape.  The Republicans are worried, there is no question.  And the Democrats are correspondingly pleased with this early Christmas present. Internationally the reaction has been equally favourable.  Invariably the assessment is that Donald J. Trump's remaining days as President of the United States of America are numbered - whether because of his as yet undeciphered and increasingly provocative alliance with wealthy Russian oligarchs, his questionable mental and deteriorating physical capacity or his wildly unpopular proposed legislation. The skirmishes surrounding him and his immediate family are increasingly percolating and beginning to boil over.  The talk now includes the fast exit of top Republican officials desperate to preserve their own hides, including even the notoriously spineless and empty-suited Marco Rubio.

Our rambling conversation at table this evening included a serious consideration of geographical novation. However my purely visceral and legal instincts tell me to hold fast.  I attach considerable legitmacy to instinct, a now well proven recognition which shamefully has taken me years to cultivate. Its authenticity lies merely in the recollection of the stock rejoinder, "I knew I shoudn't have done that!"  Partly for this reason I have attuned myself today to the merits of my immediate environment, at times observing it globally, at others in more clinical terms including such vulgarities as the measure of square footage.  Oh what minutiae contrive to make a happy result! I have also resisted the acceleration of age, what translates into a demonstration of Bernoulli's Principle; namely, that an increase in speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in the fluid's potential.  Or, to put it another way, if the flow is from a region of high pressure (youth) to a region of low pressure (old age) then there is more pressure behind than in front. It is obviously impossible either to resist or to predict the effect of old age but I can at least live in the hope of accomplishing things without the indignity of getting on my horse and riding off in all directions!  I a word, I live in hope.

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