Monday, January 3, 2011
Why do we bother?
OK....as if I had nothing better to do, I have just spent the last 6 hours working on the Burns Supper.
I honestly do feel that the musings and writings of Robert Burns speak frequently to my condition. He was a very gifted poet. I also enjoy celebrating his birthday every year. Truth be told though....this Manson Burns Supper has gotten so big that I fantasize about all sorts of crazy scenarios that would make me able to miss it.
I'm thinking that maybe I should listen to my own fantasies. If the event has gotten so big and burdensome then it is not a celebration....the tradition becomes a chore....my whole month of January becomes a nightmare! I'd like to go to other Burns Suppers...I'd even sing or recite at them! I just do not for a second enjoy the minutia that goes into pulling one off. We're now up to 90 guests and the hall raised its price by 30%!
So even as I type this I think of how free I would be if I just said, "It's over."
And then I get instantly sad.
I think, "What if the people in Lerwick, Shetland just got sick of the hassle of building a Viking ship and burning it for Up-Helly-Aa every year? What if Farmers just stopped making Halloween corn mazes every Hallowe'en because it was a pain in the butt? What if Santa just decided the trip round the world in one night and all the free prezzies was just too blinking much? What then? What then? What then?
When we stop going the extra mile we create a negative ripple that starts a chain of events and habits that....well....it's regrettable when we stop caring and we just sit there.
And so, I juggle table seatings, hurt feelings, extra guests, performers, and the dread of the annual clean-up knowing that a positive event, although taxing and trying, time consuming and soul draining goes much deeper into the culture than just the chronological space that it seems to inhabit. Creating an excellent, thought provoking event is a catalyst. Of course, there is always the possibility that the event could turn out not excellent...but even Rabbie knew "the best laid plans o mice and men gang aft agley"!
I accept that it keeps getting more bogus until the night...and then it's all fairy lights and tartan, great speeches, fabulous food, couthy music, in a hall done up like a pub in 1790. It is magic. It is.
So I continue..for auld lang syne...but you know what would be really awesome? To have a Burns' Supper dressed as vikings and then burn the hall down every year! Just kidding! Up Helly Aa memories getting in the way!
We bother because to not bother unravels life altogether.....