". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Enter Stage Left: Holiday Light and Love

      . . . .Good grief, el V returned, burdened with Stuff. Including the most beautiful pork roast for which there is no room in the freezer, while for days I've been planning and preparing for tonight's beef rib roast, with leftovers. The beef is fresh, not frozen, so .. O dear.

How much Christmas has entered this apartment since Monday or Tuesday, one way and another, when I have done my best to ignore it, feeling anything but holidayish. Our friends and family have remembered us in gracefully delightful ways.  I’ve been composing and sending Christmas letters to friends. 

This afternoon's sky is that brooding pewter density behind which the shapeless sun shines thinly,  – just a bulbous light.  The wind increased perceptibly while I was out.  The wisteria and rhododendron vines that curtain the street side of the buildings on the West corner of Prince Street, sweep sideways across the walls in the gusts. The streets don’t have many vehicles. I’m guessing – making up a story again – that with the storm expected to begin by 6 PM, people who’d drive into the City from New Jersey and upstate wisely chose to stay home. Besides the 65 mph wind gusts predicted, here it's lashings of rain as well, while west and north lots of snow.  Warmer temperatures had returned after the freezing ones.  But today and tomorrow, exceptionally so -- tomorrow in the 60's.  While it pours rain.  Then within hours the temperatures are to drop to below freezing.  So ... ice!!!!!

But people are out now, o yes, who are almost 100% masked whether inside or out.  Even the very little children on the playground are masked. People have filled the streateries, finding Christmas companionship and cheer before the storm. The feel is so different from most times that I’d guess these are people who live here, not people coming from other states and cities looking for fun. When I say the feel is different, I mean it’s pleasant, calm, attentive, not brittle, angry, sharp, drunk and mean.

In spite of it all, the neighborhood’s festive, with varieties of music from rockabilly to traditional carols leaking out from the restaurants, the cars, and out of people’s apartment windows, plus the lights and decorations.  It’s too bad the storm will screw the restaurants’ business for tonight and all day tomorrow.  Plus, with the wind hitting 65 mph gusts, a lot of these places should be taken down by 6 PM.  But instead I saw at least one place erecting a new one!  People are trying so hard. 

For the first time ever the crèche at St. Anthony’s isn’t displayed; and last year they were able to replace the most aged of the figures – but the church is draped with construction matting and so on, as repairs and renovations go on.  But the Christmas tree under the Washington Arch at Washington Square is up.  I stood there, so happy to see it again, in spite of everything, that I cried.

Wishing all, warm, well-lighted, healthy holidays.  

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