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Mack Williams: Christmas garland ‘fence repair’

Right next door to where I live, a dilapidated fence separates my duplex from the adjacent house. The fence is wooden, but dilapidated, unlike Suzanne Blackmer’s “fence” which consisted of a clothes line which was still in good shape, but held up many things which weren’t.

The other day, I noticed the middle-aged lady next door decorating that old fence for Christmas. The faux-holly garland was hung loosely, not one bit of slack taken up, but it didn’t need to be, since these weren’t hooked elastic chords like those holding trash can lids tightly in place.

In the nighttime, those rails of wooden “dark matter” took a second, third, or even fourth seat to a bright string of festive Christmas bulbs. Like the garland, the string of lights was only loosely strung, not taut enough to straighten out the unseen “slipped” angles of the dark, unseen sections of wood below.

And speaking of “dark things,” in the street between the decorated houses, two silhouettes danced. Well, not really danced equally, since the larger one seemed to toy with and antagonize the tiny one.

One “silhouette” was a cat, the other “silhouette,” a mouse. In all of that “toying,” the mouse never seemed to surpass “orbital velocity” to rid itself of the whole situation, injury possibly playing a part.

I didn’t watch the “play” to its inevitable end, being soft-hearted (at the science museum where I work, I am also kind to my conscience by feeding our California king snake thawed mice from Petsmart).

Seeing that little bit of drama “aux silhouette” by cat and mouse involved in “a game of cat and mouse,” I thought of similar games possibly being acted out, unseen in “dark matter” regions of the universe by varied, fantastic “creatures great and small” (allusion to the hymn, and the British show too).

I then thought about the possibility of there being “dark matter” parallels, and maybe there’s a “dark matter old man” out there somewhere writing his “dark matter column,” often with memories of growing up in his “dark matter” hometown (and if there’s a “dark matter” Mason-Dixon line, the corresponding town, just like the one here, is to its South).

“Anti-matter” could be substituted for each of the “dark matter” references above, but encounter would have explosive results.

Just then, Christmas music from a passing car’s radio took me from pondering the physical states of cosmic matter, parallel universes, and this present “cat-eat-mouse-world” to a foretold world of the future in which “the cat will lie down with the mouse” (paraphrase).

I thought about how precarious that festively decorated (but gravity-challenged) rail fence appears on any other day than a “Seasonal” one.

I then thought of the old phrase: “Keeping Christmas throughout the year!”

I thought of how the decoration on that old rickety fence represented a sort of “cosmetic” repair of serious shortcomings.

Don’t dismiss cosmetic repair as just sweeping things under the rug, for the “cleaning endorphins” gained from such “rug ruse” can get us over the hump toward more serious cleaning (some, of a “soul” nature) not tied to just one season.

As for now, I might not feel physically safe leaning on that neighboring fence, but I do feel safe leaning on such spiritual support tying and “wreathing” together all of the seasons of the year.

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