And so that was Christmas. Or Hannukkah. Or just another holiday season.
But have you noticed, my dear one, that nothing feels quite the same these days?
This December was heavy with undertones and reminders of last December – when we were locked down, imprisoned in bubbles, frightened with the not-knowing and losing our trust in information.
This December brought its own fears and non-knowings too, as people with symptoms couldn’t get hold of a test to check their status, and as we made, revisited, reversed and then re-made decisions about whether to mingle over the break – and who it would be responsible and safe do that mingling with.
A time like this calls for something. As usual, Worthing provides, if you know where to go.
I’ve explained before that all rituals – that’s all rituals, sweetheart – are made up. This is bleedin’ obvious when you stop to consider it, but still, people hang on to ideas about ‘authentic’ and ‘invented’ traditions. No such thing. All invented. Trust me, I’m an anthropologist.
You can read about one invented Worthing ritual here, along with the nerd-links I love to dish out just to
Dec 30th brought us another Worthing ritual-in-the-making. Not, of course, the 53rd iteration, as the poster cheekily claims, with an ironic wink to those debates about ‘tradition’. But not the 1st, either. This is an event that has happened a few times now and is gently growing, year on year.
It’s called ‘Scream at the Sea’ and here’s Joe Bunn the organiser’s introduction to it for 2021:-
This year seemed to last even longer than last year, what with more lockdowns, weaker leaders, stronger smells, more pressure, faster life and less time for slowness. As ever, this year feels like it was 792 days long. So why not get down to the Sea on the 30th December and scream until your tonsils fall off?
That’s plain enough, isn’t it?
It happened. Some people went and did it. Part of the Woby household went. The dog stayed home, sulking because BEACH, people, BEACH without a walk? The cat said they’d stay dry and wait for the photos to come out. The young adults are all off doing their own stuff.
I’d diary it in now for next year, if I were you. You can’t imagine what you might have to scream about and offload by Dec 30th 2022.
The sea is capacious, gracious, has heard it all before and can swallow it all up for you.
Graham McKnight had to work, but sent this poem, which was screamed into the sea
We walked away light-hearted, grinning and raw-voiced. A mini catharsis before we try to party like it’s 1999 – which is probably not going to be quite possible ever again. A moment of time out before we step into 2022, slowly, carefully, on tiptoes and with a good deal of reflection and pausing before we react. We might have learned something over these past 2 years.