Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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December Madness

I don't even remember what finally set me off.

One too many Starvation Army bell-ringers?

One too many Muzak Silent Nights?

One too many smiling faces wishing me something that I don't want?

Whatever it was, by the time that I got to work, I was in a state.

And the single most oppressive thing about it is the sheer unconsciousness of it all.

Fortunately, the Gardnerian guy at work was there to catch me in mid-free fall. He enfolded me in his big, furry arms and held me to him.

"Augh! F**k the f**king cowans and their f**king holiday!"

Adrian understood. He made the sorts of clucking, calming noises that one makes to soothe a child.

"There, there, Steve: it's OK. It'll all be OK."

It was exactly what I needed: reassurance. The reminder that someone else gets it.

"Thanks, Adrian," I said finally, stepping back and taking a breath. "You know."

"Oh, I know," he said.

Episode over, we both got to work.

These days it doesn't usually happen like that. Now I work in the private sector, and can take (or leave) December Madness more or less on my own terms. These days, frankly, I'm mostly too busy even to notice.

Because I've discovered an important December survival strategy.

The single best defense against Christmas is a good Yule.

These days, coming home from singing up the Sun on the morning of the winter solstice, I'm always a little surprised to see all the activity around me.

"What are all these people running around for?" I wonder.

Then I remember.

Well, let them have their holiday. Where I live, it's really pretty irrelevant.

 You know.




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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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