2007 ended so fast that we didn’t manage to mail out our Christmas letter, something we’d just started doing a few years earlier. 2008 went faster for me but the brakes are on this week as I try to bring the locomotive force of my life to a brief resting point. This year we’re getting the letter into the mail on the 24th, but only to family and a few old friends with whom we aren’t much virtually in touch. That’s 10-15 letters. Obviously, you send these things to family and distant friends, but even figuring out to whom to send it is mind twisting in a world with facebook feeds, blogs, email, and countless other ways in which I am somewhere between in touch and out of touch with distant friends, memorable acquaintances, former teachers and students, and on and on. That’s over 50 letters. That feels somehow excessive. Maybe it isn’t, or maybe it just feels excessive because I’ve never sent a lot of letters by regular mail. I would have no problem emailing 50 people about something. So maybe it’s a generational thing, or a classed thing, or an endeavor somewhere between pathos and phatics, as Steven Rubio would have it. It’s definitely a genre.
After we send out the letter tomorrow, it’s lunch and a long-overdue visit to an art museum and cooking for the 25th, when we will have a few people over.
For the past two years and possibly more, the end of the term always involves a process of “waking up” for me, where I start paying attention to things I care about but didn’t get around to attending to during the term, from rock concerts to art shows to software updates to dentist’s appointments. Oh yeah, and this blog. So I was disappointed to learn too late that we’re going to miss out on a couple Hum reunion shows in Chicago for New Year’s Eve. As with Prince’s stint in Las Vegas, I would have seriously considered flying out there just for the event. On the other hand, we’ll be in New York on the 1st, so I think we should manage to find something fun to do.
I love it … phatics!
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