Tuesday, May 01, 2007

RIP Tom Poston

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWinner of three Air Medals in WWII, Tom Poston first came to the public's attention on The Tonight Show starring Steve Allen, at the dawn of television. His persona varied from bumbling to sharp-tongued but no matter the character, one thing was certain: Tom Poston could be counted on to deliver the laughs.

Our thoughts go out to his widow, Suzanne Pleshette.
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The Curse of Beltane

Thanks to a gargantuan effort at character building over the past couple of years, I have managed to reduce the days in the year in which I feel sorry for myself from all of them to about a half a dozen: New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, Pride Day, my birthday, and May 1st. All are days when there is an extra emphasis placed on couplehood (over and above the usual).

Why May 1st, you might ask. Simply put, May 1st is Beltane, which, among other things, can be seen as a celebration of all that is lush and carnal in Nature. Certainly, the bees are shtupping the flowers, and the skies are filled with fat little birds preparing their nests. Tis a lusty time, to be sure, just not a great one to be alone.

On the human side of things, the first warm days mean that long-covered skin is gradually being uncovered. Couples wander about rapt in each other's attention in ways they don't seem to do the rest of the year. This means I spend a lot of time looking at the sidewalk, rather than be bombarded with this particular failing of mine around every corner.

Of course, Nature does provide an ample distraction. After many months of looking up at bare branches, the simple sight of leaves on the trees is spell-binding. The world, in a lot of ways, seems better at this time of year. All the seasons have their charms, but the other three seem to have to try to be as charming as spring is naturally.

So why a curse? Surely that's a harsh word to use against a time of year that clearly has me enamoured. Well, for an earthy person such as me, the sensory overload is a real test of character. I enjoy the aesthetics of the season - alone - and I revel in the rest of its sensations, reminding myself over and over that the only thing life guarantees us is ourselves.

As I've said, it's a momentary thing, a couple of days' melancholy in the midst of supernatural beauty, which, unlike the other days I mentioned, provides considerable comfort of its own. I mean, consider Valentine's Day: you feel like crap, and besides that, it's February. Throw in math and you have my idea of Hell.

Every year I believe in the Curse of Beltane less, and every year it weakens. It's no coincidence that every year, I believe in myself more, and surely that has something to do with it. It's all a bit moot, given that I never meet anyone with even the potential for reciprocal attraction; it's just good to vent any excess neurosis from time to time, so why not today?
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