2014 was a year of new things for me. It was a long year. Funny, how time can shoot into the future like a streak of lightning, and then stall and hang on like rain in Seattle. (In my novel-writing, I always perpetuate the story that it always rains in Seattle. Not to keep people from coming here, but just to get the word out. It rains here. So, if you do move here, don’t bitch about it. Complaints about the weather are far more depressing than the lovely rain itself.)
So, coming from my oddball rain-blessed perspective, let me tell you that last year, I did some things I never expected to do. Virgin experiences. I watched the Winter Olympics, the Academy Awards, and the SuperBowl. I’d managed to avoid these super-American televised competitions for fifty-nine years, but I was with home-care clients to whom these shows mattered. Once was enough. I rediscovered my truth; gladiator stories bore me. They’re too predictable. There’s always a winner. I’m not getting why people care who wins these contests. I hate to be so dense; there must be stories in there. Everyone has blind spots; this is one of mine.
Seattle’s SuperHawks became the “home town team” for everyone north of Portland when they won their big game. Thanks to my worklife, I can now match faces to the names of “our” football players. Despite the huge local hoopla, despite giving it a chance, I never caught the Seahawk fever. I didn’t develop any “We won!” loyality. Instead, I figured out that playing the game is the football guys’ lucrative dangerous job. This year, they may win again. Big sports flags fly from cars on our freeway, celebrating something I simply can’t understand. Although truthfully, I have my own theory about all this. I still believe football is the cheerleader for the patriarchy. There’s more domestic violence on SuperBowl Sunday than any other day of the year. How can anyone be surprised when football players get caught abusing their girlfriends? But, I shouldn’t dwell on that because, well, football, it’s tradition.
I have my own holiday traditions. The New Years’ Day Polar Bear Plunge. The Black Friday shopping boycott, which is such a joy that I usually extend it right on through New Years’ Day, buying nothing but food and gasoline. I usually do something ritualistic with candles for the Solstice. No Christmas movies for me. Bill O’Reilly said recently that he “won the war on Christmas.” Thank the Goddess! is that silly contest finally over?
My other virgin experience this year involved another holiday. I worked in a ritzy neighborhood on Halloween. I spent the evening answering the doorbell and giving candy to strangers. I’d never done this before, having lived mostly in poor neighborhoods where I’ve kept my porch lights off. Although my spiritual practices for the Wiccan New Year have never indulged the commercialization of the witch image, I considered costuming myself like a White Witch to amuse the children. But then, I couldn’t stand to do it. That was me, keeping my own oddball true-to-the-goddess-within faith.