Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Retreat

In Australia, the holiday season is a double whammy.
Last week, public schools finished for the year – the first term of the new year begins at the end of January – and this week, businesses and their employees wind down for not only Christmas and New Year celebrations but also a long Summer holiday, comparable to August in Southern Europe.
Many Australians, for whom holidays are something of a religion, enjoy four weeks of paid leave. From now until the middle of January, nothing much happens that isn't leisure-related.
Most art galleries remain closed until the beginning of February.
Predictably, I don't take much of a break. I already live on one of the more fashionable of Sydney's northern beaches so I don't feel the need to 'get away'. Because my phone goes quiet and I have no assistants around, I'm able to focus on neglected projects with fewer interruptions. My working days are longer and more solitary.
When I'm not immersed in my art, I catch up on my reading – and, even better, the backlog of films, documentaries and favorite series on my digital TV recorder.
I will spend Christmas day alone, an expression of my own insistent detachment and the reality of there being very few with whom I'd really want to share it.

6 comments:

ArneA said...

Merry Christmas anyway

Aaron B. Brown said...

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year happy Hanukkah a good Kwanzaa etc. :-)

I can't imagine what it would be like to live so far below the equator and have all things climatic reversed from my experience. There are so many different worlds on this planet of ours, few of us experience more than a handful of them. It's great that the Internet connects many of us now so that we can gain a greater understanding of those different experiences and each other. I think it promotes compassion, getting to see how alike we all really are, how the human condition is universal in much of its expression.

I'll be alone, or relatively so on Christmas, as I have been for most of my adult life. I'm used to it, but I never did like it. I always find myself fighting depression at this time of year as a result. I wish I could be with Suz or Foo or my newest friend Trac, she's so funny and fun.

It's difficult for me to understand the desire to be alone at this time or during birthdays, which some of my friends have expressed. One in particular avoids even talking to anyone on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and goes to other people's birthday parties on her own birthday, never telling anyone at those parties. I can't help but find that to be a rather perverse even voyeuristic manifestation from my perspective. I suppose you'd have to live that person's life to understand such needs.

My daughter is 13 and we've never spent Christmas together, but at least I can speak to her on the phone and know that she is healthy, safe and happy. I always hold out hope that perhaps next year we will be together.

Cheers and good tidings to you all.

Deacon said...

Christmas alone. That sounds... nice.

sue beyer said...

i love spending Christmas by myself. Have a great day!

JenXer said...

Christmas alone- that sounds wonderful.
Enjoy it!!

Lisa Klow said...

That sounds like a lovely way to spend Christmas. Enjoy.