Wreath | Our daily bread

I have to get a Christmas wreath for my door. It is a tradition, regardless of where I am, to hang one up to mark the turn of the season. I usually get to it on the first of December, but I was out of sorts today. It shall have to wait for tomorrow.

The past few days have involved tedious, repetitive, manual labour at work, something that I try to avoid since my constitution doesn’t like very much, especially as it is not an activity that I enjoy. My hands feel as if they are dead weights. Thankfully, a friend nagged me into visiting my shady Chinese massage house where they occasionally take male customers for discreet purposes.

I received my first Christmas gift! This reminded me that I have to write and post cards soon. I tend to be unsystematic about it each year, and I find that I send cards out either in early December, or very late and they double up as New Year greetings.

There is a masquerade ball to attend on this Saturday. My friend, fierce Christmas merry-maker that she is, has agreed to kindly accompany me. That will make the event more bearable. I am not fond of having to fraternize with colleagues outside Monday-Friday work hours. I have questions of vanity to sort out – Should I wear black? Should I dance if there is dancing? Should I comb my hair? I like having these questions to belabor about. There are no wrong answers, and the ramifications of swinging one way or the other are minimal. They are more preferable to the deep-seated, gnawing, life-sucking queries that have haunted me for years.

It is my favorite season of the year, but I am yet to settle into my customary Christmas-spirit. I find myself in a state of unusual uncertainty about the holiday season. There is a tepidness to my festive gaiety. Copious consumption of hot chocolate hasn’t helped with that yet. I wonder if I expect 2016 to spring a final, curtain-down surprise.

Most of the New Testament was difficult to get through for me, when I had been a child studying catechism. It dulled in comparison to the colors and the stories of the Old Testament books. Yes, Paul used to write good epistles, when he could veer away from his sanctimoniousness. I liked John’s Revelations, which is a poster-child example of what mushrooms and lysergic acid can do for you. The most memorable, though, was the Lord’s Prayer. Mathew’s Gospel is one of the most accessible books in the Bible, self-contained, and explains matters neatly without being verbose. The Lord’s Prayer is a stellar example of these qualities that this book has. It is pithy, catchy, and easy to memorize. Most of us born into that religion know it by heart. Give us this day our daily bread. What do we need to live? What is bread? I had asked these questions back then. Now, far moved from belief and faith in gospels, I have a better inkling of what I need as my daily bread. There is nothing in my life which caters to the need. The need to give and take, to find balance in my personal and professional interactions, has been substituted often through writing, through creating and telling stories. Writing had been a balm in many situations where the cards were stacked against me, where there was more taking than giving. Things, predictably, are derailed when I am denied the ability to find solace in that. I find that I try, as I must, to make do with less today so that it may bring me more tomorrow. The struggle seems unceasing on some days, but everything that began must end. I have more faith in the wisdom of Ecclesiastes than in the promises of a gospel.