Winter Solstice, 2012

When Mark and I got married nine years ago on 12/21/2003, we did so with very little planning and absolutely no astrological consultations (this is best for budget-minded individuals). We thought it’d be cool to celebrate our honeymoon in Vegas on the longest night of the year.

12.21.2003 at the Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

12.21.2003 at the Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. I can still wear this dress, which doubles as my “wedding” and “winter funeral” dress.


It’s cracking me up that our Paradise by the Dashboard Lights is nearly a decade old and that our wait for the end of time may be nearly over. In fact, if the doomsday naysayers are correct, my marriage will end after exactly 9 years when the lights go out. Not a chance I get off that easy.

There’s probably a stone tablet smothered in kudzu or buried in a cenote on the Yucatan penisula with directions that say lather, rinse, repeat, or the Mayan equivalent that translates into calender ends here, start over at the beginning.

What a bargain– a 5,000+ year calendar! What I want to know is are there enough firemen to pose?

2012 FDNY Firefighter Calendar

2012 FDNY Firefighter Calendar

What I often forget is that there are people in every community that deal with death and tragedy every day. Doctors, policeman, firefighters, EMS drivers, and funeral home directors are up to their eyeballs in the brokenness around us, and do their best to patch us up and send us on our way to cope the best we can.

But, when things happen we don’t understand; the horrible, terrible things on the nightly news, we get frustrated trying to make sense of the incomprehensible. We get angry at the injustice humanity faces daily. We demand answers and solutions where there are none.

Coping without comprehending is hard. Hard like diamonds are hard.

Poets and prophets throughout the ages have done their best to give us truths to hold in the deep, dark night. Today, Leonard Cohen speaks to me in his song Heart with No Companion: 

“I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair, with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere.”

About Laura Alford, PhD

I'm a recent graduate of LSU (PhD in Accounting). In addition to academic research, I also write fiction on Tuesday nights with the Asilomar Writers.
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1 Response to Winter Solstice, 2012

  1. Susan Sands says:

    Trying to make sense of the senseless is akin to endlessly banging your head against a brick wall. I don’t think my head has stopped hurting since the tragedy in CT. 12/21 happened early for those families. It amazes me how humans continue putting one foot in front of the other after overwhelming devastation.

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