Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Holiday Cards? Life Moves On

Originally posted on December 15, 2013

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and part of that is the exchange of cards and connections. Aside from the cards exchanged, there is a small degree to which this ritual arouses mixed feelings. On one hand, I am a little hurt, if I think about it, at the degree to which people I’ve reached out to, sent cards to, have not reciprocated. On the other hand, I don’t care enough and feel myself more willing that I used to be to shut down my caring about people who don’t reciprocate.

I realize that I’m making new friends and associates, and that through my life I’ve been in an ongoing process of growing closer to some, maintaining with some, growing away from others, and it’s like the weather, or metabolism. Specific atoms move into and out of compounds as they are broken down and reconstructed in my bones and other tissues of my body, things come and go, while the pattern and gross structure sort of continues. (But sub-microscopically there are processes of reconstruction all over the body.)

So it goes slowly, gradually, socially. But to a tiny degree, I do feel a little guilty that I’ve neglected so many as I have been about my busy life, and I feel resentfully neglected by them, too. It’s a nice nudge by my guardian angel that I attend more sharply aware to the dynamics of my social relations. I feel I should care, should feel even guiltier, or feel more hurt. Part of me wants to try to care more, and another part is watching and letting go and finding this whole process rather interesting and amusing.

In a larger sense, I realize similar themes of grabbing on to this interest or that magazine article or this section of a book chapter or that fragment of conversation from an acquaintance, that these little “grabbies” fill the day. I can also be aware of these temptations and not be swamped by them.

One Response to “Holiday Cards? Life Moves On”

  • David Blatner says:

    It’s a tricky thing (he types, after just having written a bunch of holiday cards), because — as with gifts — I like to think that the ritual is one of giving cards, not exchanging.

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