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Life Arts    H3'ed 12/17/17

An Advent Calendar to Beat the Devil

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In every cry of every man,

In every infant's cry of fear,

In every voice, in every ban,

The mind forg'd manacles I hear.

Starting slowly, on day one I threw down a few dozen very sharp pencils that were cluttering up my desk drawer. If you didn't know it, the pencil was a revolutionary technology in its time. But I had collected too many, as most of us collect the inessential to falsely secure us against embracing the wisdom of insecurity, and rather than write with them all to kill our downstairs neighbor, I hoped to spear the prick with a few, knowing as I did that the etymology of the word pencil is "little penis."

On day two I picked up the pace and down went the illusion that I should expect my rambles in words to have any effect on people's thinking.

Day three: Books I'll never read again but El Diablo might benefit from, though he's probably illiterate like so many Americans.

Day four: The bad habit of making snide comments about ignorant Americans. This was a little selfish since I didn't want to be not nice or naughty before Santa's arrival.

Day five: My sudden realization that the previous day's confession might mean I'll get coal in my stocking.

Day six: Clothes I'll never wear, old foreign coins, extra socks, an eight inch wide tie, a one inch wide tie, all ties, nonsense things, and any thing I could lay my hands on.

Day Seven: Many habits that have become useless, but which I won't mention. I'm sure you understand.

Day eight: The idea that there are any sane American politicians and that they don't want a nuclear war with Russia.

And on and on they go down the slide to hell. In this way I am hoping by December 25th to have dispossessed myself of all that has a grip on me, all that clutters up my life and mind. I am hoping to have nothing left to give or take, and that on Christmas the only gifts I might receive are the invisible kind.

Then I can hold them in the palms of my hands and set them free to fly away.

Letting go like this, I will contemplate an infant's birth, how he came with nothing and left with nothing, and because he did not seek the possessions that are the life-blood of a consumer society sick-to-death, he showed us how to beat the devil.

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Edward Curtin is a widely published author. His new book is Seeking Truth in A Country of Lies - https://www.claritypress.com/product/seeking-truth-in-a-country-of-lies/ His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/

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