Every Day Above Ground (mallorys_camera) wrote,
Every Day Above Ground
mallorys_camera

Tibetan Cookies

I hate everything about this time of year.

I hate the garish decorations. I hate the Xmas Muzak. I hate the nonstop pressure to buy shit and the cheesy, sentimental manipulation that goes along with it. I hate how cold it is, and I begrudge the extra ten minutes I have to spend every morning scraping ice off my windshield. Mostly I hate that the days are so goddam short.

I understand that my sentiments are not widely shared, so I try to keep these feelings under wraps. When one of those “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” conversations is unavoidable, I smile vaguely and let the speaker make of that what he or she may.

But ugh. Just ugh.

###

This is also the time of year when I traditionally pack on 15 pounds because of the availability of all those high fat treats and because I stop exercising. Too cold to run! And I hate gyms. I’m already feeling the waistband on my favorite pair of jeans shrink. I do have a little Elliptical Machine, and I suppose I will have to start using it. Or bite the bullet and join the fucking gym.

###

Spent a jolly morning yesterday teaching the lamas about the winter solstice. I showed them pictures of Stonehenge! I showed them a photo of the Poughkeepsie Standing Stone, which is really close to the monastery.

I expected them to be more impressed with the standing stones than they were.

Hey, you guys come from an anachronistic culture that’s the anthropological equivalent of a living fossil, so you should resonate with prehistoric monuments!

Like that.

But they couldn’t have cared less. Though when I drew them a little picture of the earth’s yearly journey around the sun to explain the solstice and chirped helpfully, “It’s kinda like a mandala!”, their eyes brightened.

Tsering baked me Tibetan cookies.

They are something like chow mein noodles, and they taste really awful, but I am gonna have to eat every fucking one unless I can give them away. Same magic as the garden tomatoes and cucumbers: You can’t throw away bounty! It’s a slap in God’s face.

###

Afterwards, I hung out with Lois Lane who is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.

Her psychotic mother died in a transient motel.

The car she finally scraped up enough $$$ to buy turns out to have the wrong VIN so she can’t register it.

And her stepdaughter was just diagnosed with metastatic brain cancer.

From time to time, I ponder Lois Lane’s singular karma.

Often with people whose lives are beset by a seemingly unending stream of horrifying events, I get this strong sense of expiation. Like the horrifying events of their current life are the expanding ripples of something they did in a previous life.

But I never get that sense with Lois Lane.

No, the sense I get from Lois Lane is Job. Like she was chosen to suffer. Like this is all some sort of spiritual test.

And I must say, given what I know about her life, it is amazing that Lois Lane is as aware, perceptive and altogether wonderful as she is. I mean, amazing that she survived at all, but a thousand times more amazing that she survived all that shit with insight, grace, and humor intact.

“Would you like some Tibetan cookies?” I asked Lois Lane.

“They look awful,” she said.

“They do, don’t they?” I said. “Here! Take half.”

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Tags: christmas, friends, volunteer
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