A collection of essays, outdoor adventure stories, ruminations, wordplay, parental angst, and blatant omphaloskepsis, generated in all seasons and for many reasons at 64.8 degrees north latitude

Monday, December 21, 2020

A short letter, and several letters short

For many years, I’ve shared whimsically annoying holiday letters, each in a different genre, from “Epic Poem” to “Third Grade Homework Packet” to “Choose Your Own Adventure”.  In 2006, it was a haiku:

Twins and doctorate 
Have not allowed much free time
For email or sleep
But now it’s 2020. 

As we descended into the darkness of this Winter Solstice, my Whimsy Muse wasn’t just quiet, she was mute.  I thought about the past twelve months’ headlines. I thought about my dad.  What genre could possibly be or fitting – or even tolerable – for summing up this year?

Then I thought of Dad a bit more, and it seemed obvious. 

I was momentarily flummoxed when I realized that -- in this era of online games and online everything -- I don’t even own an entire and unsullied Scrabble set.  The old wooden letter tiles of my childhood are mismatched and incomplete.  But upon reflection, that seemed perfectly imperfect.

I know a lot of you have had a tough year – tougher than mine.  Please, tell me if you need serious help.  Also, please tell me if you need frivolous help: a phone call, or a pie, one of the blank tiles to reach the triple word score.  And in the meantime, even if you’re a few letters short and have lost your dictionary, play anyway.  Keep playing.

Happy solstice, my friends.






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