When I woke this morning and shuffled through the house to get the paper, my curtain-clouded view through the living room sheers tricked me into thinking it had snowed last night. The notion of snow warmed my heart for a second; when I opened the front door, though, I could see it was an illusion. The ground was wet and shining from the rain that fell all night. The weather puppets have prognosticated.
There will be no white Christmas this year.
With my tiny hope for a cleansing blanket of snow dashed, I made my morning trip to the basement. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. My house is old, built in 1898. It sits on a peninsula of land surrounded by trees and the river is close by. Sometimes, I have mice and I don’t want a cat.
The world awaits the building of a better mousetrap, does it not?
I went back to bed, no visions of sugar plums dancing. In all honesty, my heart has been heavy since the end of October and that’s when I decided I would decorate my house with blue lights this year. There are so many little things out of joint in my world and the world at large, but who would want to read about my personal sadness? That’s what Facebook is for, right?
My philosopher friend “At Your Service” and I have had a long-running conversation about my “blog personae.” We talk about how my blog stories attempt to shine light onto the dark sadness of this violent and conflicted world. But the other day, I made a confession to “At Your Service.” I told him that I kept my more morose musings to myself because they didn’t make for good blog posts.
First there was Debbie.
Then, there was the sadness of a woman who grew up on my street. Her Facebook post announced that her fiancé dropped dead one Sunday morning and her heart was broken. I read a similar post about a woman I used to hang out with in Portland. She lives in Colorado now and she and her husband were in the middle of moving to their dream house.
He dropped dead.
Then there was visible world-weariness I saw in another friend’s gait when she visited for coffee and cookies the other day. I’m so glad she stopped by and shared her worries with me. I wish I could have offered more than treats and a listening ear.
But probably the most unusual news that’s been on my mind these past few weeks is Mark Zuckerberg’s new “philanthropic” LLC. According to various news sources, Mr. Zuckerberg will be giving away 99% of he and his wife’s Facebook stock holdings to causes like fighting disease, improving education, and building strong communities. Setting it up as a LLC is highly unusual in the philanthropic world. Generally, a tax-exempt foundation is set up, a 501(c)(3), like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Internal Revenue Service prohibits tax-exempt groups from contributing to political campaigns. But a LLC? No problem. They can donate and lobby without limitation. Yet, I hear so much lamentation about money’s influence on politics (on Facebook, no less) that I can’t help but wonder how it will be different when young Mr. Zuckerberg does it.
No pictures today; the blue tree and window lights didn’t photograph very well in yesterday’s fading December day.
If you’re looking for more “peppy” posts, you can read my new blog I’m writing over at the Sun Journal, The Lady Alone Traveler. Next week, I’ll make my “big reveal” there about next year’s travel and writing projects. I’m sure there will be vintage cars, old houses, and sweet treats, and maybe even a philanthropist thrown in.