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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015

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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

A moment of sentimentality

I inadvertently started a project this weekend that is still underway. I was just going to put away the solstice decorations that I had on display this year. The project is still going since I simply couldn't stop getting the decorations out of their boxes. (Yes, instead of putting them in.)

I should start with a few sentences of explanation. I've celebrated the Winter Solstice as my high holiday of the year since 1985. In 1986, I acquired a single ornament that I thought would commemorate the year. The next year, the first that the DW and I were together, I invited everyone who came to Solstice to bring something to put on my little (<3') tree that would commemorate what they want remembered from the past year. It was pretty cool, so we kept inviting people to Solstice ever since and each year people hang interesting and unusual things on the tree that remind them of what should be remembered from that year. This was the 23rd Solstice in 2009. We've had anywhere from 10 to 40 people at our celebration. I'm estimating that I've collected about 500 "ornaments" that people have hung on the tree. They include angels (one made from tinfoil and a coat hanger!), champagne corks, photos, certificates, balls, hearts, hands, animals, snowflakes, articles of clothing, jewelry, and pregnancy test strips. Some were purchased, found, assembled, and invented. There are way more than will fit on a tree anymore.

So this year I came up with the bright idea of stringing ribbon between the sconces on our dining room wall and hanging a few of the oraments on them. I got about 60 on the wall that represented a spattering of years from the earliest to present. People loved seeing them on display and remembering what each stood for.







So I figured that this was a good idea. I bought some yarn and braided about 100' of cord from it and started hanging decorations wherever I could.





Since these photos, I've completed three more strands and my dining room table is still covered with decorations. Some of them are too big or heavy to hang on the ropes. Some of them, in fact, are pretty much ropes themselves. And there is one whole box that are flat items like the photos, certificates, memos, envelopes, and business cards. I think I can do two or three more strands to hang before I have to leave for the airport to pick up the DW this afternoon. Won't she be surprised!


Here's the thing: I've kept a Solstice journal all this time (since 1987). It records who hung what and what it meant to them. I'm missing a couple of years that were written on slips of paper in years when I couldn't find my journal, but I know they are around somewhere. It has been such an amazing trip this weekend to listen in my head to those commemorations of people's lives. I want to put together a booklet of all the pieces and give it to all the people who have ever attended. Maybe I'll manage that by the 25th Solstice gathering in 2011!

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