Sunday, January 6, 2013

Belated Christmas Thoughts

After a hiatus brought on by vacation and a lack of planning ahead on my part, I am finally back to writing my belated Sunday night posts. Yay! And many apologies.

I don't have much to write about still. I have now seen Les Mis three times, and I still really like it. Christmas with the family was funny. We watched the Doctor Who Christmas special, starring a new actress who is really quite adorable, and my (younger, innocent, cute, etc.) siblings were joking with each other about her; my sister was teasing my brother about how cute she was and he responded with a drawn-out, typical, sexual sigh of teenage longing--"yeeeeaaaahhhhh....sigh" Which I of course joined in on, which they were not expecting.

I also requested Louise Erdrich's book The Antelope Wife as a Christmas present, which has a kind of cubist painting of a bare-breasted woman on the front cover (a sexualization of the Native American female subject that bothered the Native American female author), but was not given it because my parents didn't want me opening it "in mixed company." Meaning that of my 14- and 17-year-old siblings, I guess. Or maybe that there were men in the room and it might be pornographic? Who knows. Anyway, I bought the book myself at a used bookstore in Washington a week later.

There were some less funny moments, like when my dad (intentionally or not) equated both suicidality and bisexuality with "choices" that he hoped I would steer away from making so that I could end up in "a good place" by making "wise choices." Also implicit was that suicide and sexuality are worldly ideologies that I have apparently bought into. My parents' view on suicide is fairly disturbing; when talking about a boy we know who committed suicide, they concluded their discussion on him with, "Well, but he did commit some pretty serious sins, so." As if that explained the whole thing. Only those who choose to sin choose to commit suicide, I guess.

What bothers me more is that my parents, who are tired of all the emotional pain I apparently heap on them with devilish glee, have adopted an attitude of disinterested disapproval; rather than listening to me when I talk, they have taken to informing me that what I do as the Laman/Lemuel combo of the family is no longer their problem. They have, as they said, chosen to step out of the path of the "speeding train of self-destruction" that is now my life. It was nice of them to take me to see Les Mis with them and to give me Christmas presents and all those traditional family Christmas things. And I kind of hate to be talking about all this on a blog, knowing what would happen if they saw any of this anywhere on the internet. But there were just these moments where my parents so affectedly do not care about me at this point. When I tried to explain to my dad about how I was feeling about this, he just said, "Well, we're trying to help you feel welcome at our house, so stop feeling anxious about it." I think that they think I'm a robot now (which they've said many times to my face), which I guess means I have no feelings--apart from devilish glee and a general delight in sin and mayhem--but when I say that I feel stressed and anxious I'm just told not to be, like it's not something that is a part of my makeup anymore even though they know that I've been stressed and anxious for my entire life. In the past they've tried to help with that. Now, not so much. They just don't care. So those are the reasons why Christmas mostly just ended with me sobbing every night. It was not that great.

Happily, I only had to be there for like three days, and then I went to lovely Washington, which was good. And I'm trying to focus on the positive aspects of being back in Provo, like finally going to the Sundance Film Festival with friends in a few weeks. I feel bad about the people who also had crummy Christmas breaks but didn't get to escape to Washington at the end of it. That sucks, and I'm sorry.

That concludes the summary of the bad parts of Christmas break. To be clear, even though they seem to believe otherwise, I do love my parents and especially my cute little siblings. But that doesn't mean that hanging out with them doesn't suck sometimes.

In lieu of the Leslie Norris poem I wanted to share, since I can't find the full text anywhere, here's a poem I read on Christmas that I quite liked. Cheers.

Li-Young Lee 

In the dark, a child might ask, What is the world?
just to hear his sister
promise, An unfinished wing of heaven,
just to hear his brother say,
A house inside a house,
but most of all to hear his mother answer,
One more song, then you go to sleep.

How could anyone in that bed guess
the question finds its beginning
in the answer long growing
inside the one who asked, that restless boy,
the night's darling?

Later, a man lying awake,
he might ask it again,
just to hear the silence
charge him, This night
arching over your sleepless wondering,

this night, the near ground
every reaching-out-to overreaches,

just to remind himself
out of what little earth and duration,
out of what immense good-bye,

each must make a safe place of his heart,
before so strange and wild a guest
as God approaches.


  1. I like Louise Erdrich. Maybe a little too concepty sometimes, but usually she's interesting.

    Have a good time in Provo. You can do it.

  2. Thanks Matt! I really appreciate it : )