Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Musings under the Pagan Tree

I used to tell myself, if I had the money, I wouldn’t waste it on some huge, extravagant Christmas tree such as this, with all of its stars and pendant balls flashing gold and silver all over, trying to attract all kinds of luck and money and fake friendships and greed. This year, I told my sister, who said she faithfully kept such a Christmas tree in her home, “Why don’t you want to make a political statement? Rebel against the established tradition? Make a Christmas tree that totally overhauls their concept of a Christmas tree, something that will disturb them, something that will shock and awe, or blow them away, something that will completely demolish their idea of a Tree?” She listened to me, as if, to consider. “How?” She asked. But we were in a hurry then and instead of waiting for my reply, she began telling me me how, year after year, she had faithfully stuck to the tradition of the luxurious Christmas tree, so huge, it looms over you larger than life; its golden balls and golden stars so resplendent and decadent they never ceased to amaze the neighbors and all the guests who came to her house, year after year. "They were unerringly attractive," she said, as she mused over her own version of the talk-of-the-town-tree for years. So, I gleaned from her gestures, she could not easily give up that idea of a tree, it was the tree that served her purpose, it was what she considered the right tree for her, looming over her and over everyone who beheld it to stand for what it was supposed to stand. But I wanted another kind of tree and I knew it would take an extraordinary amount of courage, another grit of spirit, and another perspective, to put up a Tree that will overturn this concept of the tree, to crush and challenge commonly-held beliefs and assumptions and turn the world upside down. It would take another kind of bravery to come up even with an idea of such a tree, and then, to turn the idea into flesh!

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