Happy Holidays and a Decent New Year
- That about says it all.
Phil did not much care for high religious holidays.
As many of you already know, he read the Bible twice and the Koran once cover-to- cover, was intrigued with some of the language (translated of course) - but never signed up for any such persuasions as he found them way too limiting personally and was appalled at the ample prescriptions and accounts of 'appropriate' cruelties quoted throughout these texts as 'guiding' towards 'proper' attitudes within the community of believers. In fact he had come to find much of this 'thinking' as in good measure responsible for a lot of grief and outright evil, retarding so badly needed progress towards dignified life for all... Obviously, we've known compassion, cooperation, quest for knowledge, human dignity for tens of thousands of years, if forensic finds and genetics are any guide - otherwise we'd be unlikely around anymore as a species. And it would seem that growing scientific facts only reiterate that understanding.
His widowed mother had raised him without any such religious parameters, focusing instead on free thinking and the absence of any hierarchies of human worth (bigotries), emphasizing instead decency to oneself and others. She did not even feign to attend the Mother-Church of Universalists/Unitarians, which happens to be of all places here in Gloucester...fine structure by the way, part of the community's skyline; we donated to its renovation but never attended proceedings.
As to the commercial aspects of these weeks, as he did before my entry into his life, we would 'treat' ourselves across the year as the occasions seemed to warrant - without any interest in clustering those 'would-like-tos' around either birthdays or high holidays in general. So, we just might light up the boat, the 'mighty' oak, have perhaps a richer meal - but that would be about it...
So it is Greetings from Gloucester, where I'll end the year in better shape than anytime in quite a few years - I am sleeping better than in 6-7 years - with some projects 'behind' schedule, but other initiatives and must-dos have been unambiguously tended to. There's always 'too much' to do, but energy-levels are still climbing, always with a careful eye on health. With some luck, 2013 could be quite intriguing...Susanne Altenburger, PB&F