2021

All I Want For Christmas . . .

. . . is not what Mariah Carey’s lovely words exactly mean as she sings: All I Want For Christmas Is You. In my case, and at this ripe old age of mine, the You are my Children and my Grandchildren, as well as All Children on this sorry Planet of ours! However, I totally agree when she says:

I don’t want a lot for Christmas

There is just one thing I need

I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree

I just want . . .

And what I really, really want – and, do forgive my constantly repeating this – is a more Peaceful, Kind, Compassionate and Honest World with Equality and Justice For ALL! Too Idealistic? Impossible? Won’t Ever Happen? Why the hell not? How difficult could it be for us, humans, to Evolve for Heaven’s sake, because I am so done with Cruelty in any of its forms!?

And, yes, I also echo Mariah’s wish that I want these above stated Vital Values:

More than you could ever know

And, please:

Make my wish come true

I doubt that I am the only one hoping for this, because I know that the Majority of Humans in this world want that also. It’s just that there is a Minority of Extremists that we can find in their malevolent pockets all around the world whether they are in Leadership positions, Gangs, Criminals of every kind you can think of, or the Sheep that follow them, who are causing this chaos, anxiety and turbulence on our Planet. And, yes, of course, there is also this Virus running around, so far unabated, mainly due to Ignorance, as well as various other reasons, but, mostly due to outright Despicable Opportunism by Deplorable, Selfish and Ignorant Leaders. Quite Tragic, to say the least, especially these days with Alliances and Nations shifting, realigning, reconfiguring and readjusting to all the political turbulence and corruption, as well as to the soulless religions that are behaving more like disgusting political parties; as friends become enemies and once sworn enemies become friends in such a fluid atmosphere that I hold my breath at how precariously our world seems to be functioning! Phew! What a boiling, dangerous cauldron we are in!

Mariah Carey and all Christmas Songs and Carols also make me nostalgic for Jerusalem, my place of birth, and the tormented city that it has historically been, and still is; for Cairo, our first Exile Stop after 1948 and our beautiful Christmas Holidays there; for Amman, our Second Exile Spot and where I grew, learned and met classmates some of whom have remained my dear friends up till now; for Beirut, especially after I had my own children and what a big To-Do I made of Christmas and Santa for them; for my five on and off years in London where we took refuge after Lebanon’s devastating Civil (Uncivil!) War and still managed, despite our trauma, to celebrate for our children’s well-being and sense of continuity; and now for all those forty years during which we have been in Virginia, which is more years than I have lived anywhere else. My history, with all that it entailed of the good, the bad and the ugly is what makes me all the more anxious and fearful for this country, and for as long as there are people within, and without these United States conniving to bring down this Democracy and rendering it a Failed Experiment, my worries will not abate, even though I have my misgivings and grave criticisms for much in our system. However, neither should Anyone Else – not on the Left, Right, or Middle – abate their worries despite any hesitancy they may have regarding our system of governance, because unless we all seriously resist these appalling efforts in any way that we are capable of then we are inviting Dark Days ahead. Very Dark indeed! So, I quote our DHS (Department of Homeland Security): If you see something, say something! And, overall, we should all just speak up to our families, our neighbors, our friends, on our social media platforms etc. and voice our concerns regarding our country. It takes a collective effort!

I remember my wonderful maternal Grandmother who believed in the Evil Eye, and who, anytime someone visited whom she thought was envious, or had any shred of malevolence, would try to ward off that negativity by generously sprinkling salt on the hot coals that she used for her argilleh (water pipe), and, as soon as she heard the salt granules cracking and hissing she sighed with relief that the evil had been dispelled! I wished today that I could believe that and believe that I could dispel the Evil Eyes and Intentions of all those wishing to harm this country, or Any country! Enough of Evil Doings, Thoughts and Actions! Enough!

. . . . . .

On December 8th. we were Remembering John Lennon who was assassinated in 1980 – Forty One Years Ago. I clearly remember what a sad day that was for me! Today, I recalled his terrific song, my Mother’s favorite, and one that I had written about in a previous post: Happy Xmas (War Is Over). It is as Timely, Heartfelt, and Genuine today – if not even more! – as it was when John Lennon first introduced us to it. Simply Incredibly Sad that we are still living in Fear and in War . . . and it doesn’t look like there is an Exit anytime soon. What is it going to take? So, as I pull up my tissue paper, because I sniffle and cry every single time I listen to this song, here it is:

I Hope That You Who Are Reading This, And The Rest Of The World’s Humans Have a Safe and Joyous Holiday!

2021

Re-Assessment

I call her a Spring Chicken, since she is only in her early seventies as opposed to my late. We were having lunch and gabbing away when the subject of our “Senior Moments” came up and on how our daughters, with whom we both live, immediately jump to “Dementia” any time we forget something. This happened when I heated something in the oven, took it out and forgot to turn the damn thing off! Two hours later, daughter looks at me with a very worried expression: Do I need to start worrying now? She has Dementia written all over her face! What the hell?!! It seems as if when these same daughters forget something – and it does happen! – it is always attributed to “overwork,” “stress,” “hormones,” or some other bloody excuse, but Mum forgetting is immediately a cause of Dementia concern! Seriously? Both Spring Chicken and I are doing pretty well at this point, I think, despite the fact that Life has thrown us up and down and around, twisted and wrung us often enough and here we are with our proud wrinkles and all those moles and blemishes contentedly going about our lives! Dementia, if it is in our stars, can wait! All this made me think how people travel far and wide to admire historical relics, but here we are: two old, historical relics that an ever-looking-for-younger society and a superficial culture have decided that we are only fit for Assisted Living, a Nursing Home, or the Rocking Chair! Excuse me? Laughable, in a way, but quite sad in another!

It seems to me that the World has sped by much faster than when it did at my Grandmother’s, or my Mother’s time when Progress was Slower and we Humans had a bit more time to Re-Assess and to Adjust to all that was New! Moreover, historical relics like myself and Spring Chicken were – still are in many societies! – the Go To Authority for matters big and small. No more, since Google, Siri and Yahoo etc. etc. have replaced us! Bloody hell! It’s enough that when I watch “Jeopardy” I can’t be as fast as those brilliant contestants, although I know many of the answers! It takes time to find the pertinent file amongst the Many of them that clutter my brains with mostly useless and irrelevant information! Frustratingly hilarious!

Anyway, and since about the Sixties, when Progress on all matters began speeding up – dizzyingly at times! – we are witnessing all sorts of Manifestations that Prove just how Ill-prepared and Obdurate Humanity is to Navigate this Twenty-first Century with its almost daily Bombardment of something or the other that we have to learn, adapt and re-adjust to. It’s quite hard considering that our Basic Character Traits and Behaviors have not changed much since many, many Moons ago! Pretty sad! And, it is when I think of this that I am grateful to be where I am in my Earthly Journey, and not thrashing around like a chicken without a head as is happening all around me with those younger people whose forgetfulness is attributed to the: Stresses of Progress? I feel quite sorry for them in a way, because the challenges of their futures seem to be daunting, to say the least.

On top of all that a horrible Virus that is still invading the Planet with more variants and numbers every day of hospitalizations and deaths and Reckless, Illogical, Sick, Ignorant and Criminal Behavior and you might wonder: how do we overcome all this? Certainly not with all those Protesting the Lockdowns, Masks and Vaccines and calling for their Freedom and Democracy. Do they even know that Freedom and Democracy come with a Serious Sense of Responsibility towards Ones Self as well as Others? I really am at a loss here with all these re-definitions of Everything! And, No, I am not going to ask Siri for the answer!

It is the same for those clerical figures – as well as media personalities, celebrities etc. etc. – telling their adherents not to vaccinate, or mask, and those same people not arguing with such irresponsible corruption. How do some of those Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders Mis-Interpret their religions so as to allow themselves to distort it to this drastic extent and still have all those spineless sheep following them off the cliff? How do you Distort your Holy Books so terribly that they resemble nothing that is Holy anymore? Maybe there is another new definition for Holy that I am not aware of anymore? Or, for Responsible Leadership and Celebrity? That Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Honesty, Kindness and all those other Lofty Values which, at the very least, Humanity used to strive for have now been replaced by the basest of values, the most vile, the most criminal? I don’t think that even Siri can answer this dilemma!

I might be wrong, however, unless World Leaders from all different Political and Religious callings replace their corrupt modus operandi with Honesty, Transparency, Peaceful Coexistence, Equality and Justice for All we will continue on this path of Self-Annihilation where Lawlessness and Chaos stride across our cities and the globe and destroy everything within their reach. It’s Avoidable! It’s Doable! Is there a Will to do it? Does the Will to Root out the Criminals in our Political, Religious, Judicial, Civil and Corporate Institutions even exist in order to create enough Trust in those same institutions that are supposed to inspire a much needed Law and Order to our cities and our world? I don’t know! What I do know is that we cannot continue to demand that citizens of this world Behave properly when some of those supposed to be leading them are exhibiting Corrupt Behavior. Unless we go through a serious Re-Assessment process of all aspects of our Institutions and the Leaderships within them, we cannot expect to even have a semblance of Lawful Behavior! Yes, it is as simple as that!

The Ray of Light, though, comes from all those Activists, Investigative Journalists, Writers, Whistle-blowers and brave Truth Tellers – some of whom are tragically being disappeared, threatened, kidnapped, jailed, tortured and killed. Nevertheless, the many are still courageously forging ahead giving Hope to all of us that, at some point or the other, things just might turn around! Meanwhile, Spring Chicken and I will continue to enjoy our lunches and wrinkles, read our books, do our crossword puzzles, observe the world and witness its idiotic behavior and its sinking values and pooh-pooh our daughters when they freak out over our Senior Moments, or anything at all!