Horror World

Sullygram...December 2016 newsletter
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Author:  Thomas (Sully) Sullivan [ Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Sullygram...December 2016 newsletter

Moonlight shimmers over every branch, freezing into a crystal glare that draws my gaze upward and beyond to where silver snowflakes swirl like stars in the Zodiac, like sequins on a string at the limits of my imagination! Here it comes, here it comes…a silent salvo of snow passing through the nimbus of a streetlamp. I stick out my tongue and take a hit. The angel touch melts like cotton candy. I blink in the feathery touch that captures an eyelash and grin – you can’t help but grin when a snowflake dissolves in your eye.

Yeah, I love winter. Mea culpa. But if you put me on trial for that, Exhibit A in my defense would not be the beauty of snow or the fact that I can revel in miles of serene skiing every day. It would be the reprieve that winter itself brings to the seasons.

Spring makes promises, summer fulfills them, but by autumn life has again accumulated its mistakes, its disappointments and retreats. Enter winter stage left. A time for healing, for clearing the stage, for turning a fresh page – a snow white page yet to be written on, trackless and pure, magical with potential!

There are no façades in winter. Everything is naked and honest. Well, everything naked but me. I wear technicolor Lycra, glitter boots and a fuzzy Norwegian hat with a molting parrot on top. Skinny skiers are so full of joy, they dress like it’s Mardi Gras. Why not? You think Mother Nature doesn’t have a sense of humor? When you defy gravity all other inhibitions disappear as well. Freedom demands it!

Anyway, I hope your winter isn’t all dreading going outside and shivering and slip-slip sliding to work and back every day. If it is, you’re doing it wrong. Get out of that gray house – you can wrap up like a mummy, if you have to – and dance around until your personal thermostat turns on and you realize that the gloom was all inside your walls and your mind. Let there be light! All that white outside will make you squint as you discover what a million years of basic training in evolution gave you a body for. I mean, holy snowballs, they say for the first time ever our life expectancy is shrinking here in the US on account of we’ve become wusses. Winter is a chance to reclaim ourselves. Use it or lose it! What an irony that we call our current youth the “snowflake generation.” Snow is RE-generation!

Speaking of longevity, I have a few ideas about that. If I don’t beat my family’s average of living well into our 90s, I’m going to be bummed in the hereafter. One of the factors I have going for me is as much about quality of life as quantity, namely laughter. Laughs come in all sizes, but mine have accumulated with experience. I don’t think that’s true for everyone – it depends on the way you look at things – but whatever perspective you have, your emotional attitude will definitely intensify as you write the chapters of your life. One particular day this month brought that home to me in three conversations.

Conversation #1: I wake up to a call from my cousin Wampus who refers to me as Treesqueak. Of course, we aren’t really Wampus and Treesqueak, but then we aren’t really cousins either. We feel like family because the bond goes back to the year zero in our lives. In fact, her colorful father drove my pregnant mother to the hospital, which explains why I was born in the lobby. Anyway, both our families are a riot and we are incapable of talking on the phone without dissolving into convulsive laughter as the memories flow back and forth. It is impossible to re-create the context of our eccentric relatives short of writing a book, but it might begin with Wampus reminding me of my father having Elliot Ness’s old job (documented in the film/TV series “The Untouchables”) at the same time that her uncle was running booze across the Detroit River. My old man is schooling him to put a pinhole in a newspaper he’s pretending to read so he can watch out for the cops, she says, and thus the laughter starts. Back and forth we go. About how her old man used to bob and weave on a footstool in front of boxing matches on TV. How my old man once went to her apartment to clean up before going home because he’d been sitting in a cornfield for three nights staking out a still. So, by the time we’re off the phone, it’s almost noon and I’ve been laughing so hard my stomach feels like I’ve done 2000 sit ups.

Conversation #2: Later in the day my friend Mickey Magic starts to pull stories out of me, and she gets me going about a 10,000 mile/17 day road odyssey I once drove with my lad Shane and a friend. This time I’m in tears and on the floor with laughter. One story leads to another, including some of the other kind of tears for a reprobate named Khaki Man. Contrast is the spice of life. It is now evening and I have done 4000 sit ups.

Conversation #3: The third installation of laughter comes in a late night call from lifelong friend Pete Adams from his remote outpost on Roaring Beach, Tasmania. We are bonded in adventure and history. Like Bruce Norvell, another lifelong friend whose shared exploits I’ve written about here, Pete and I are a never ending tale. Past, present and future, we embrace life, and a very essential part of it has become where it fits into our differing perspectives that meet on a bridge named laughter. 6500 sit ups by the time my head hits the pillow and another day meaningfully lived. Laughter. If that isn’t the longest road through life, it’s the one with the best scenery.

With all the holidays there should be enough warmth and joy to go around, but as you know, a lot of people just feel alone. Maybe that was me at one time in my life. In fact, a few years ago I wrote about just such a Christmas – how I lived in an old man’s hotel when I was still a teen and had three visitations (sort of) and how it changed me. It’s a story that touches a lot of friends and fans, and so I usually reprint it as my December column over on Storytellers Unplugged. In fact, I just did. Check it out, why don’tcha (‘cause it’s all I got to give you for Christmas – bwahaha). Here’s the link: http://www.storytellersunplugged.com/20 ... e/#respond

Wishing you a Merry Christmas in my tradition, dear friends. May whatever gladdens your heart fill 2017!

And now for the photo finish! Pictures below as follows: #1 my backyard; #2 the last rose of summer (OK, they’re geraniums); #3 Crow Hassan prairie; #4-5 Elfie hat my traillmate Mickey Magic gave me; #6 Crow Hassan’s last leaves of 2016; #7 birthday serenade for Mickey Magic; #8 my friend Linda dancing in the desert; #9 Queen of Dragonflies Ami Thompson conscripting another df into Purple Nation; #10 Crow Hassan, home of Purple Nation; #11-12 Sandi-Todd-Beth Christmas party; #13 Rick Skarbo (another old friend) dives underwater at night on the Left Coast for these; #14-15 yours truly with Ami Queen of Dragonflies; #16-18 Purple Nation at Crow Hassan; #19 Merry, Merry from me to you!

Note: if this is a mirror site and you don't see photos, you can see them here: http://www.thomassullivanauthor.com/new ... 62016.html . And you can find all Sullygrams archived on my author's web page>Sullygrams & Columns.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan

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