Yule (Winter Solstice) 2017

The image is a photo of a piece of wood burning in a fire.Every year for the last 15 years or so, my wife and I have hosted a Winter Solstice Gathering at our home. Each year, I write a little something, generally a story about our ancestor women and girls.

This year, I wrote with Norse stories in mind. If I were to call it Norse mythology, it might be fitting because before the supposed age of reason, myth = truth. In those days, children asked why questions all the time just like they do now and so some adult said, hey, yeah, why does the sun go from one side of the sky to the next? Why isn’t the moon always round and full? So they made up stories to explain truths. Now, myth is just some story that doesn’t hold any meaning for many people. What they fail to see is that myth wasn’t just story, it was truth. It held layers upon layers of meaning for people as they learned about themselves (Donkey would tell Shrek this much later on in human history – Shrek has layers like an onion or maybe a parfait. I mean, everybody loves parfait).

So here’s my story for Yule 2017 which I’ll share at our gathering.

Image credit: Barskefrancke. Public domain (CC 0) via Pixabay.

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Just because my nose glows…

The image is a photo of the television show Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It shows Hermie the Elf touching the glowing nose of Rudolph as they sing together.

I’ve been thinking about the Island of Misfit Toys. You know the 1964 movie, “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”? If you don’t, go google it before reading any more here, or, depending on the time of year, make sure you record it on a broadcast channel, or hulu it or whatever your preference. Just. Watch it.

Sometimes I wish I lived there. I’d find my peeps – all the other misfits – and we’d all live happily there. But then, we’d all be misfits together, so would that mean we were no longer misfits? Would we, the aforementioned misfits, then reject the normal because they were, you know, normal? And being normal was being a misfit? Might we instead welcome them in among us, reveling in our mutual misfittedness?

If you think about the toys on the island (and yes, I do. Think about them.), their differences were really only surface deep – a train with square wheels, an bird that couldn’t fly, a cowboy riding an ostrich, and of course, a Charlie in the Box (not Jack). That is all surface stuff. What they really wanted was to be loved. They wanted to be wanted. They, and we, all want the same thing.

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Stop wearing socks that don’t fit

This morning I was putting on a pair of socks that were not really made for women with size 11 feet. If I get the heel of the sock in the right place, my toes are all cramped up. So as I tried to find the right spot for the heel to match my heel and my toes not to cry out in agony, I thought, “This is ridiculous. It is time to stop wearing socks that don’t fit!”

I’ve often worn socks that don’t fit. Suffered for it, but wore them again and again. Why? Why wear socks that are too small? To feel like I’m a “normal” person, to fit in, to be part of the crew? Well, phooey, I say. Time to get socks that fit.

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Personal Myth 64: I am good at math

This is how bad I am at math. I should clarify – how bad I am at simple math, not calculus or some other professional-level mathematizing (yes, dear spell-checker, I know that’s probably not a word).

Ok, so back to my math problem. I am so bad at math that when I get one thing right, I think to myself, “Hmm. Maybe I’m good at math after all.” Not considering that the balance of the good math/bad math examples in my life is pretty skewed toward more bad examples than good.

Take two examples from the previous week. I had to figure out how to add two fractions for determining the length of quarter-round I needed for a room remodeling we are doing. Truthfully, my tape measure is marked in a way that is very helpful with eighths and sixteenths and whatnot, so I could add 13 and 3/8 with 28 and 5/16 in my head and the quarter-round fit nicely. I’m good at math!

However, I know it is easier for me to picture fractions in my mind than multiplying numbers together on paper. As proof, my second exercise in math was trying to figure out 36 multiplied by 36. I did it on paper, got an answer and then decided I should probably double-check the answer using the calculator on my phone. I was off by about 1,000. Don’t ask me how. I’m bad at math.

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