Friday, December 15, 2006
Sunnyside, Queens, July 2006
Have you ever seen the Monty Python movie "The Meaning of Life"? There's a very strange skit in the middle of the film, in which a man dressed as a butler with long rubbery arms and a sort of Frank N. Furter-style transvestite in a corset perform a long, elaborate poem called "Find the Fish." It's hilarious, though completely nonsensical.
I call this photo "Find the Fish."
I think I've more or less finished with my holiday preparations. In terms of decorating, I have one strand of colored lights which I get out every year and wrap around the burglar bars on my window. (Isn't that so New York?) They look nice at night and in the dark early mornings. And they keep burglars away! You've gotta love such a highly functional holiday decoration!
I didn't send many cards this year. (You may remember my debate about this.) I sent a few cards to those who sent them to me, and I plan to send a big e-mail to everyone else explaining what I've been up to. That way I can keep in touch yet not waste all the paper.
For gifts, I made donations to Oxfam. They have a program whereby you can "buy" a cow or sheep or other item for a poor family, and Oxfam sends a card to the folks on your gift list acknowledging the donation on their behalf. I also picked up some small items so I have something concrete to give, like a book for my stepmother and some finger puppets for my baby niece.
Finally, I had some of my photos enlarged for my family members (who, incidentally, never read my blog - so I'm not giving anything away here). I might frame them before Christmas, or I might just give them without a frame. I got a little stressed yesterday trying to find the right frames, and worrying about how I was going to get a stack of framed 8x12 photos down to Florida. Then I thought: WAIT a minute. Step back. Just give them the photo!
In fact, when it comes to all the hysteria surrounding holiday shopping and gift-giving, Zen emphasizes restraint, a stepping back, a balance. I like to think I'm managing that, more or less. But then again, there's still a little more than a week to panic.