it's about having an inner light, and i got me some

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 | 1 Comment(s)

tonight was the first night of hannukah.  and, sadly, my 2011 streak continued with bad news tracking holiday celebration like a sniper on a rooftop on a clear day.

but tonight was a little different.  because this holiday is about a miracle of light, and i got me some of that.


on a trip to the virgin islands as a young kid, my brother (2 years older) and i, befriended another boy around our age at the communal pool at the resort.  We were "holiday friends" and the whole experience really centered around having people to horse around with more than the fostering of what might become a decade long pen-pal correspondence (remember pen pals!).  It was mostly normal kid stuff.  Until . . .  and I don't remember the details, but that kid had a younger sister, who was just young enough to not yet be old enough to be "fun."  i don't remember teasing her.  I wasn't that kind of kid.  Could we all have been leaving her out, totally.  Hell, you know what, we might have teased her.  I can't even try to defend the 11 year old me (approx. age).  Anyway, i definitely don't remember there being an acute incident of her getting upset.

What i do remember was the kid's father coming into the pool area (my childhood brain recorded his arrival as: "from out of nowhere") and starting to scream at my brother and me.  His face was red and he was really digging into us about how ashamed we should be of ourselves and bad kid this yadda yadda yadda.  he didn't scream at his son.  This. was. shocking.

We were not the kind of kids who got screamed at much.  we were, well, dorks.  But more than that, our parents very rarely brought the hammer down.  I mean, i think they punished accordingly--no real harm, no real foul.  So this guy screaming at us out of nowhere was jolting.  And here's what i remember.  I remember my brother saying back, "Your not our father!" and us running back to our room.

Back in the room we told our parents what happened.  They were, in a word, furious.  "NO ONE screams at you but us!" i recall my father saying, totally supportive and without seeing the irony (i didn't yet know what irony was, so that was just good parenting.)  And that lesson stuck.   It's akin to  "no one puts baby in the corner," except with your soul.

There will always be doubters, and worriers, and haters, but don't you dare fuck with my ner tamid.  You need permission to criticize one's character, and that right is one that must be earned.

So this hannukah.  this celebration of the light that endured. I protect my own light.  and frankly, im growing it.  So as i watch those candles multiplying night by night, i remember that the light in my soul has been around for years.  and its been multiplying and multiplying.  it burns with a vigor that that will not be extinguished.  Not by anyone.

there are days which seem dark and strung together.  its during those stretches when one's light is tested.   This hannukah, my light will endure.

1 comment:

  1. Very nicely said young jedi warrior. I can hear the song from Titanic in my head ("near, far, whereever you are..."). This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Lots of love on this glorious holiday!!! PS: my sis had a baby yesterday ;)