I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West

drew's writing:

  • "Always Forever Now," Ideomancer volume 13, issue 2
  • "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
  • "Bread or Cake" and "Pride/Shame,"2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival
  • "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
  • "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
  • "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
  • "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
  • "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest

Friday, December 25, 2009

keeping the weird in christmas

One of the things I like about Christmas is the hysteria. It's a bombastic, Phil Specter wall-of-sound kind of holiday--determined to flood your every sense--the manic phase of the year.

The pictures in this post come from the Pitman Grove, in Pitman NJ--where, three generations ago, my family had a summer home. Now people live there all year round. We always talk about moving back there. My grandmother was dreaming of it till she died.

Pitman was founded as a Methodist summer retreat--I am the great x 3 grandson of the Pitman patriarch whose birthday is being celebrated in this picture:

I'm a Philly boy, though, so even if I feel very warmly toward this town, I won't be buying back the family cottage.

The Pitman Grove is the home of the Hagerty family, who own a few houses adjacent to each other, and put up a spectacular holiday garden every year. It wanders through yards and creeps into sheds, infesting every square foot with Christmas madness.

I go see it every year when I cross the bridge to see my relatives. It's impressive. My favorite part of the Hagerty display is the shed, which I think I remember seeing and being fascinated by as a kid. It's filled with a miniature city of elves, dwarves, and angels, with villages and bridges and tall masted ships that proclaim Jesus and warn against drug use:

But who needs drugs?

I am reassured as I tour the Hagerty Christmas garden, that we are no different from our Viking and Saxon and Celtic ancestors, lighting the woods of Northern Europe to keep away the terrible darkness. Only now we have electricity, and our gods have names like Snoopy and Sponge Bob.

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