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30 December 2003 @ 12:03 pm
Everything Old Is New Again  
aka Some Slightly Belated Christmas Musings and a Tiny Bit of Highlander...

I guess, by now it is safe to say that I survived Christmas in pretty good shape. Trying to achieve just the right mixture of activity and peaceful seclusion has worked out surprisingly well. I prepared, did, enjoyed and had guests, but also found the time to grant myself a little bit of quiet as well as the time to commemorate my mum. Dad and I had two very nice dinners. People gave me more presents than I actually deserve and thanks to cavendish and vashtan who came over for some christmassy baking orgy and present exchange, decorating the tree turned out not half the depressing event it could have been.

Looking back, not only on this year's Christmas but also on a couple of past ones, I have come to realize how much the feast's gravity center has actually shifted. Once, in the mid-seventies, we started out pretty much like every archetypical German family does. Lots of relatives, carol singing, the seemingly inevitable reading of certain well known Bible passages. By now, we have reduced the traces of Christianity and gray, self-dissolving rituals to an absolute minimum. The relatives have been replaced with friends and instead of celebrating the birth of Jesus, there is this hard to explain, but deep and vibrant feeling of gratefulness. Being grateful for the wonderful people who never cease to support and inspire me. Being grateful for the small glimpes of universal beauty I was able to catch. The relative peace that I live in.

I think, I like the new Christmas much better than the old one, even though I'm a somewhat conservative soul who finds changes rather scary.

Maybe, it is exactly this tendency to keep and to cling, which causes me to collect and archive things the way I do; regardless whether it's books, videotapes, postcards or coffee mugs *g*.

Opening the cupboard and grabbing just exactly the Highlander tapes that I wanted (early Methos episodes, from "Methos" till "One Minute Past Midnight", "Indescretions", "To Be"/"Not to Be") filled me with an intriguing sense of familiarity and a fuzzy kind of warmth that I had not expected. My relationship with this show has always been a difficult one. Despite the best efforts and patience of selenak and blackkitty13, probably the two major Duncan supporters amongst my friends, I never really got to the core of Duncan MacLeod, but remained one of those viewers whose affection was strictly reserved for the supporting characters. Methos, Joe, Amanda, Fitz, Richie; in exactly that order.

Methos: Timelessness and ambiguity. Man of a thousand lives. Killer and victim. Puppeteer and chameleon. Pop Culture and Classics.

Joe: Passion and loyalty. Torn between roots, tradition and his longing for truth.

Amanda: vivacious, in the best sense of the word.

Fitz: hilarious, unique.

Richie: Innocent heart, try and error. Searching for a fixed point from which to gain sense and direction. Struggle. Died way too soon, just when he became interesting.


Rewatching those tapes after such a long time with new and fresh eyes made me realize a few things I had missed during the first run.
 
 
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful, awake, hurried
Current Music: Beautiful South, Prettiest Eyes
 
 
 
Cavendishcavendish on December 30th, 2003 04:30 am (UTC)
TV
Hi there!

Opening the cupboard and grabbing just exactly the Highlander tapes that I wanted (early Methos episodes, from "Methos" till "One Minute Past Midnight", "Indescretions", "To Be"/"Not to Be") filled me with an intriguing sense of familiarity and a fuzzy kind of warmth that I had not expected.

No offence meant, just bewilderment ;-):
How much I utterly fail to understand you TV fan people in some respects. "familiarity and a fuzzy kind of warmth": are this not words reserved for a very different kind of experience?
These words for me go for memories, places, and mostly people, but always "things" very intimate & of special emotional value und importance.

Oh, and btw.:

"Rewatching those tapes ...": All of sudden I begin to understand, why you are in such a hurry ;-). Did you find the time to squeeze the clippings from the Winter Walk between the episodes ;-)? How did you like it in the end?

And speaking of liking: I do like your description of how Christmas has changed over the years. :-) I have never considered carrol singing a "gray, self-dissolving ritual" though ;-), and I like the reading of the Bible passage in question, which I still think beautiful.

F.
blackkitty13 on December 30th, 2003 07:03 am (UTC)
I absolutely share your feelings about Christmas, also realizing how much it’s „celebration“ has changed throughout the years. It’s becoming more and more personal, individual… Remembering the “traditional Christmas-orgies” with relatives when I was a kid isn’t causing any warm feeling in me, or longing for experiencing it again. I like Christmas, just like the way it is now, just celebrating it with my parents at home, never being involved in this “clan meetings” again where there’s just important to look pretty, have a boyfriend, being rich or famous or whatever. Sounds like a celebrity meeting, and yes, looking back I know it was one.

Hehe, yeah, I won’t give up on supporting Duncan, although I loved the episodes with Fitz, too. He always made me laugh. I felt more sorry for him when he died, as I did for Richie (I can’t help it, Ron Weasley’s ALWAYS reminding me of Richie). But still I thought of buying the DVD box of Highlander… just to re-watch the show. ;)
Cavendishcavendish on December 30th, 2003 03:01 pm (UTC)
on a friendlier note :-)
Hi there!

Just read your entry again, made me want to comment a gain ;-).

For a pessimist, you believe in things incredibly optimistic:
That there might be a "universal beauty" is a concept which I tend, well, long for and doubt at the same time, if this makes sense. Is there really one? It would strangely comforting if there was one. The Romantics believed strongly in this, btw. ;-))
Anyhow, one of the (many) good things about you, your writings, long conversations, etc., is that you share these glimpses (only some of them, I'm sure ;-) ) with other people. And those glimpses are real and important. You have the talent to put them into words so that their beauty is transformed, altered, of course, but not diminished.

Maybe, it is exactly this tendency to keep and to cling, which causes me to collect and archive things the way I do; regardless whether it's books, videotapes, postcards or coffee mugs .

Rewatching an old TV episode, a record or s.th makes us, for 45 odd minutes, forget that our life is based on change, that nothing is certain. For a given time, we can have the illusion, that we know what is coming. We can happily look forward to this. Same reason why I try vainly enough - to plan things. ;-)

This also goes for collecting things, I guess. Gives the illusion that things will last. (You will love the Sir John Soan's Museum ;-) )

And still, change, especially questioning believes and ways of living, is one of the more important concepts in my life. (Not that I would live it in any way as consequently as I should ;-). )

In art we find, and need, hings that serve both ends: The one that gives us illusions, and the one that makes us question things. The lesser type is more rare, though, and maybe more precious for that very reason.

But apart from philosophical musings on art, I would like to give the compliment back: thanks for being a wonderful friend, for so many years now.

Also thanks for reminding me that "hopeful" is an appropriate feeling for a coming new year.

"In jedem Anfang liegt ein Zauber inne" (Hesse)
F.

PS.: The Spell checker and German Words (Again ;-))

Zauber:
Saber, Dauber, Sober, Aube, Bauer, Buber, Faber, Haber, Huber, Taber, Caber, Cuber, Tuber, Zanier, Zaire, Zeb, Barber, Farber, Dabber, Jabber, Saucer, Zapper, Sub, Suer, Zane, Babier, Suaver, Zebu, Ber, Sauveur, Zibo, Abe, Sabers, Sayer, Tiber, Dubber, Fiber, Giber, Lubber, Maybe, Rubber, Rubier, Saner, Saver, Sumer, Super, Surer, Zoner