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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Lesser Madness

The Greeks had a very important ritual which I usually have to remind myself of this time of year. At Pyanepsia, they celebrate the closing of the seas, the end of the season of Apollo, and the start of the season of Dionysus. The ritual asks you to embrace the lesser madness of the season rather than let the greater madness overtake you. What this means in a very real sense is that people will be inside together in close quarters more often for several months of bad weather. What that means in today's world is that we're inside, dealing with a series of holidays, while dealing with bad weather and the effects of bad weather, and being sick, and did I mention the holidays? For me, this season is more or less bounded by Thanksgiving on the one end and Valentine's Day on the other end. Thanksgiving to Christmas seems to be a time of pressure primarily focused amongst families. New Year's Eve to Valentine's seems to be a time of pressure in relationships (couples, or for single folks longing for couple-hood). It's the time of year with the stresses show cracks, and sometimes those cracks blast apart. It pretty much happened to Rick and I last year, but we recovered, and I must say things are just lovely this year. Heck, he even cleaned his room this weekend, so I'm happier than I've been in months. (Did I mention the lesser madness? Sure, it may seem slightly crazy to be so happy about a clean office, but hey, I'm embracing it!) On the other hand, I'm watching too many friends get swept up in the greater madness, saying horrible things like "separation" and "divorce" and "cancer" and "miscarriage" and I'm just so very thankful this year, while at the same time feeling terrible about the things happening to them.

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