Actually, the title of this post was supposed to be Traveling. I wrote Traving, then I corrected it, then I thought well, what the hell, why not? and changed it back. I don't know, it feels right.
I'm here in the kitchen (I say here like you know what that means, when the truth is that as far as I know, no one who reads this blog has ever been to my home - at least, no one to whom I am not married), thinking, musing about Christmas. I think its on my mind because I've been in touch with a friend who's more than a little concerned about her father. I think, from her descriptions, that the father might be mentally ill, and whether he is or not, he's certainly depressed, because his wife left him, leaving for some other guy, and apparently he's disconsolate. I don't know how long they were married, but given that the girl is about 22, I'm guessing for around that long. She's really concerned that if she leaves him alone, he'll kill himself, so she and her brother trade off, trying to be sure that one of them is always in the house.
She told me today that she's really afraid for him. There's always this low-level fear, of course, but at this time of year, she feels especially stressed, because its supposed to be this wonderful, magical time of the year, and in her case, its not even close. And I know that this is not at all uncommon, especially for people who live alone, or who have drab survival-level lives.
So I find myself wondering whats so great about Christmas? And although I know the classic reason -- which, if you're anything but Christian, you might not share -- I wonder how people survive it who are not just not-Christian but not-happy, not-content. How do they get through it? How do they survive?