Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Two Years Ago Today: Yaro With The Christmas.


It is I, Yaro, With the Christmas.

What is Christmas, after all, but an idea? Of course its historical place varies for us in this country. It's a holiday. It's St. Nicholas's grand day. It's all presents and stockings and sales on televisions. It's the celebration of a distant birth freighted with impossible meaning.

Ideas. They are what I traffic in, in my world. I have them. My young charges do not. At semester end I ask myself if I have transmitted enough of them to earn the right to return the next term. (And I have so far always found my way back.)

This place, this academic water cooler, is an idea, too, of course. Really more of an idea than a real place. We examine the world through lenses uncommon. It's not the real academy. It's one we use to fret the ones that exist.

I put the lights on Mrs. Yaro's lovely tree. I think of the three kings and what they mean. I find myself frozen in place, in a warm light. I think of a little boy who lived in this house long ago who is with us no more, taken on a winter day in 1984. It was at Christmastime.

I would think that would color the season forever, but it hasn't. The smell of goose. Tinsel. What a word. It is glorious.

That the Christmas at times has been nothing but a savage reminder of our bitter loss - for it is Mrs. Yaro's, too, though I only truly know my own. And at others, a peaceful, beautiful time of remembrance.

In the same way my teaching has at times been only a job, a place to ply a trade. And other times, my vocation, avocation, an absolution, an empyrean endeavour.

I am all wind up this evening, lacking the pitch. I am not sure where this meditation is to go.

At this time of year my colleagues have mostly struggled to the airport to travel, abroad, or to family homes, or to warmer climes.

But Mrs. Yaro and I watch the fire and think of one baby born and one lost.

I have telephoned my family and friends tonight with hale greetings. I have told them I love them and miss them, and look forward to when we next meet.

And I thought to look in on all of you, for despite the modern and disconnected format of our community, I feel attached to you as well, so kind you have been to welcome my occasional tale.

And I send you my best, Yaro's, upon the evening, the season, and the Christmas.

I am yours,


  1. I think someone has said it before, but if all CM ever developed was Yaro, it was worth the trouble. I hope he checks in again from the Beehive State.

    Merry Christmas everyone, and especially to Yaro and the Mrs. "She is the wheel to my barrow."

    1. Well said. Yaro never fails to make me feel like I'm better for just having read.

    2. Indeed. I especially like "It's not the real academy. It's one we use to fret the ones that exist" and "In the same way my teaching has at times been only a job, a place to ply a trade. And other times, my vocation, avocation, an absolution, an empyrean endeavour." Weren't we just talking about the "just a job" question a few days ago? As Yaro says, maybe it's not either/or.

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    1. Well, communities do tend to develop a common language, but, at least to me, the voices are quite distinctive -- which of course also doesn't preclude their being part of a grand fiction, created by one or a few people. Individual posters definitely create distinctive personae, with Yaro being one of the most distinctive. When I first came here, I suspected that there might be a few participants who posted as one or more of the more distinctive personae plus a more mixed, everyday, one, but the moderators have repeatedly said that's not the case, that everyone has just one identity, and the rules of misery forbid that, and the rules are enforced in every other way that I can see, so I tend to believe them. All I can really know is that I am myself (or, rather, Cassandra), and no one else. In any case, I'm not sure it matters. However many authors there are, it either works for a particular reader, or it doesn't. If it works for you, keep reading and commenting (welcome!); if not, not.

    2. Nyah. But a lot of the trolls who make this silly accusation certainly sound alike.

    3. Nope.
      Yaro is Yaro, I can't think of a less likely candidate for what you're suggesting.

  3. What a lovely sentiment. Thank you again, Yaro.

  4. A Merry Christmas to you, Yaro, should you happen to check in, and to all the CM community! I'm going to take a bit of an internet break, but will return in the new year.