“Being devoted to acts of gift giving.
The value of a gift is unconditional.
Gifting does not contemplate a return
or an exchange for something of equal value.”
Twas 2010 Burn Night, when all o’er the playa;
The sub woofers were bumpin’
The place was on FIYA!
The Man had been lit, the circle released;
Every man, woman and child,
Were up on their feet!
With The Man on the ground,
Dust and ash in the air;
No one knew where they were.
No one much seemed to care.
All hugging and smiling,
The dust in our teeth;
The flames and the cinder,
All within reach.
Ten minutes had passed,
Since The Man had last stood;
With the air filled with his ashes,
My mood was quite good.
Wearing red coat and white fur,
Goggles and boots;
With a sack full of goodies,
Any Burner could use.
A full night of Gifting, is what lay ahead;
My friends all around me, I had nothing to dread.
When all of sudden, I hear from behind;
Two words hollered at me, terse and unkind.
Two words said with venom, hatred and bile.
Well I pulled down my kerchief,
And turned ‘round with a smile.
And then he repeats them -
These words thrown like stones;
Flung by this young man,
Out here on his own.
“Santa HATES Me! I’m Jewish.” He then says to my face.
And I paused before answering, the wind filling the space.
These words from his mouth, were just words he was taught.
Old ideologies learned – that had come here, to this spot.
“Santa doesn’t hate you. Santa wants to give you a gift!”
Presented with a flourish – - “Fuck yer zip-tie.” He spits.
Determined to break through this veil of learned hate;
The night’s further adventures will just have to wait.
Reaching back into the bag, my hand finds the key;
The world disappears, now it’s just him and me.
My hand closes round Snoopy, a well traveled friend;
When this kid sees what I have, his hate comes to an end.
“I love Snoopy.” He says, with a young sheepish grin.
Now I reach in the bag, finding that zip-tie again.
“Santa wants you to have him, let’s put him here.”
Zip-ing Snoopy to his backpack, the message is clear.
“See, his head swivels round, he’ll watch your back.
Or keep an eye on you, from right here, on your pack.”
“Thank you Santa.” He hugs me – his eyes filled with tears.
I say “Good-bye” to Snoopy… (Hey, I’ve had ‘em for years!!)
Then this kid turns to Santa beside me – now hugging him tight;
“Thanks again Santa, I mean it.” “You guys have a great night!”
“Merry Burn Night!” we both holler, as we watch him go.
“How do you do that Santa?” “Hell, Santa, I don’t really know.”
I never worry about the how – and this is all I know -
“The gift is just a conduit, to a deeper, grateful flow…”