Reverb12 Day Twenty Five: Traditions
Do you follow old traditions or do you work to create new traditions? What role has tradition played in your life over the past year? Are there traditions you hope to create or embrace in 2013?
There are certain traditions I follow, or have tried to follow for much of my life. Many of them, (appropriately enough for day Twenty Five) have been related to the celebration of Christmas. Many of those traditions have, however, become difficult or impossible to maintain int he last few years, given the shift in the nature of my family dynamic in many ways. So while I have throughout my life tried to institute new Christmas traditions here and there, (with varying degrees of success), I have in the last few years, as pertains to Christmas given more thought to the creation of new traditions to make a part of my holiday, and that of family, going forward. Traditions that will fit into the new dynamic. At least until that dynamic changes into something else.
Yet whether it be Christmas or no, I am drawn to the idea of old traditions, though if you exclude that holiday, I can’t think of many old ones of which I am a part personally. The more I think about it, the more surprising that is to me. I am sensitive, introverted, and nostalgic. I long for a degree of stability that is at times sorely lacking in my life. As a writer and actor I often make use of symbolism, and routine is sometimes one of the things that keeps me grounded when I tend to fly (or maybe the better word if “float”) off of the tracks. Old traditions, at least of the solitary variety, should be all accounts be a part of what I do and who I am. And yet, with the exception of the previously mentioned Christmas-oriented activity, I’ve not seen old traditions take root.
That is perhaps one reason why the idea of creating new traditions appeal to me as well. The creation of something that both hearkens back to the past but appeals to and prepares for the future. A reminder for me when I am afraid of the temporary nature of existence, (something of particular concern to me lately) that things have gone on long before me, and will continue to go on long after me. And that by latching myself, and others onto traditions that I create, I am in a sense, allowing part of my essence to live on well beyond my earthly years.
The appeal of living on is not about immortality or fear of death. Rather a fear of insignificance. Fear of having not made an impact on something. By starting a new tradition that is adopted by others with me, and at some point after me, I am making a demonstrable dent in the universe.
The prompt asks me what role tradition has played for me in the last year. The answer is ironic twice over for reasons I have explained above. Despite my being drawn to the idea of timeless traditions just as much if not more so than I am drawn to starting my own successful tradition, tradition didn’t play a huge role in my life in 2012. (Unless one is to note the significance of it’s absence.) A few of the Christmas traditions have survived, and there are indications a few of the newer ones will take hold for a while. But otherwise I’ve allowed tradition to slip away in a sense in the last year.
To counteract this, I do believe I will try to establish more traditions in 2013. I’m not sure yet of the details, but I think starting a tradition, if only with myself, (though it’s more satisfying when others are involved) would do me some good.
As wood perhaps finding an old tradition and starting it up, thereby joining the many unseen brethren of the whatever who also have partaken in same said old ritual for countless years. Perhaps I could even dig into my own past and reinstate an old tradition I used to follow but have abandoned.
Yet, tradition can, and should play a greater role in my life in 2013.
(By the way, Merry Christmas, everyone. Don’t end the celebration just because it’s no longer the 25th!)