Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Papuan Greetings

It doesn't feel very wintry in the North East.   No white stuff falling or drifting into crooks and nannies, no chilblain inducing minus degree temperatures, no icy puddles for kiddlies to crack, no frost, no freezing winds howling off the Siberian steppe.   yesterday it was 15*.  FIFTEEN DEGREES ... IN DECEMBER !   most disconcerting, too clement, no hoof-holds for reindeer, and definitely no sublime chocolate box Christmas scenes.    

I've been dithering for days over this blog-post as i find myself with a dichotomy.   you see, i LOVE everything about Christmas... the glitter and glitz, the giving and receiving, the carols and candles, Nutcracker and orchestra, the lights and liturgy, they all find a fit with my personality and, for me, the two thousand year old legend we ostensibly celebrate has meaning... its evolution in the telling doesn't negate the possibility of seeds of truth.   we don't hold all of Darwin's theories as gospel yet, with the knowledge of the time, he discerned a kernel of fact that we have built on as our knowledge has increased.

So... here i sit, surrounded by tinsel, fairy lights and extravagantly wrapped pressies contentedly feeling as though i must be one of the most blessed humans to inhabit this fragile lump of rock as it wobbles merrily around it's oblivious star... let me rephrase that, I AM one of the most privileged of humans, i know that and strive not to become complacent or feel entitled as i know how tenuous life can be.

Yet, i don't forget the many friends and family who endure rather than enjoy Christmas, who would prefer undergoing root canal dental treatment without anaesthetic to facing yet another rendition of Jingle Bell Rock jangling from every loudspeaker in town... actually i am in total agreement with you all on that and speak as a committed dentaphobe.

How hard it must be to wake in the morning broken hearted or downcast with grief or pain and know the world and it's mates are going to expect you to be merry and bright, the manager at work is going to command you to wish your customers "HAPPY CHRISTMAS" with a radiant smile, the bus driver wearing antlers will bluster "cheer up mate it may never happen", only "it" did happen, and "it" happened to you.   

And what of those who will be working this Christmas?  one million of us Brits will be putting in a shift on Christmas Day (see link below) and many million more will be expected to work on Boxing Day.   a lady i love can't go home Christmas Eve until she's cleared the seasonal stuff and has to be in early on the 26th to start the sale... she's had to do that every year i've known her... just so we can shop !!!

So my dear friends, you who are the bereaved, the hurt, the lonely, the working, the homeless, the agoraphobics, the alienated, know that while i'm revelling in the season i'm also with you in spirit, feeling for you, thinking of you, remembering what it is to be you...that's the dichotomy.

May i leave you with two greetings?

To those who, like me, are privileged and enjoy this season... Happy Christmas.

To you who are struggling... Dabal Bagarap ... as they say in Papua New Guinea Pidgin English.   It loosely means to find yourself in a bad situation and is pronounced

                                 !!   DOUBLE  BUGGER  UP  !!

Hope that raises a smile through the pain.     Jeni


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bless you jeni๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ˜Š
Jackie xxx