Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Rest of the Story

Over most of Europe today is the Second Day of Christmas; in England it’s called Boxing Day (not related to fisticuffs but to boxed gifts). Hereabouts we begin the brief walk to the end of the year. It is the rest of the story of 2012—but not in Paul Harvey’s sense. In that stout radio journalist's broadcasts that phrase always promised a surprise. Christmas crowns, indeed completes, the year. Not surprising, therefore, that the Mayan civil calendar began at the winter solstice, a right apt date for endings and beginnings: the shortest day. Since the solstice we’ve gained a whole minute in daylight here in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. But our calendar does not end for a few more days yet. And a hiatus is welcome, a time for taking a deep breath, for taking stock. Not for us the revels of New Years eve—although we’ll hear it out there as firecrackers will go off. In the world of the hyper, hysteria—over the cliff and the miserable retail sales numbers of this season, said to be, in today’s papers, the worst since 2008. The malls will still be busy. But hereabouts the humdrum begins to rule again. Where did I put the salt last spring? Was it in the garage? In the basement? Wherever I didn’t put it—that’s where I’ll be looking first. And now you know the rest of the story.

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