Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tree Time: Limbs and Loving for the Holidays

Delancey tree lot in SF
Delancey Street, the multi-state nonprofit known for Christmas tree sales, set up one of their lots near my home over Thanksgiving weekend, and naturally, I got nostalgic for big tree holidays with my family. 

I only recently found out the extent of goodwill Delancey does for housing, rehabilitation and other social services, and that it's located in several states, not just a few empty lots in San Francisco.

But I also remembered the funny chapters from my fifth novel Message of Love, where Reid gripes about the massive consumption and subsequent destruction of evergreen and spruce trees.

I no longer buy a tree, in fact, like Reid, my fictional alter ego, I refrain from purchasing trees, but do splurge on a small wreath for my apartment door.

Delancey tree lot near Market St. Safeway, SF
Seeing one of many "Charlie Brown" tiny trees does make me nostalgic for the small apartment trees I bought years ago. It also reminds me of the tiny evergreen sprout that becomes an important and metaphoric part of the growing love between Reid and Everett, the main characters in my fourth novel, Every Time I Think of You.

Despite the seemingly wasteful aspect of tree harvesting for mere decoration (which Reid resents), something about its pagan and druid legacy warms my little non-Christian heart.

The aspect of an inside decorated tree is part of the holiday ideal of gathering with a family and celebrating. But if your family's dispersed (my situation), or unfriendly (thankfully not my case), the ritual of decorating is not as much fun. 

Castro Christmas tree
Locally big outdoor tree-lighting ceremonies are fun, like those in San Francisco's Union Square and in the Castro district (see photos). It's nice to have the idea of a larger human family gathering like villagers in Hooville.

Speaking of community (abrupt segue), I also joined Twitter, finally. I was surprised to find out that my name is available. So follow me there and I'll follow you back.

I also have been collecting playlists and favorites on SoundCloud online, and connected it to my new cell phone (Yay!). So, during work, or while doing other things at home, re-collected songs that are played in scenes from my last two books.

I'd already done this on my YouTube channel, which had more of the actual performers' songs, including some rarities. The SoundCloud mix includes more cover versions by musicians I hadn't heard of. 

While collecting friends on Twitter (mostly fellow authors at first), I discovered a triple crossover, Sex Expert Lisa Thomas on Twitter.

Andrew Morrison-Gurza
She hosted a recent podcast that explores disability and sexuality, including a gay male disabled writer and advocate, the wonderful Andrew Morrison-Gurza. He started a great trend of friends posting #deliciouslydisabled as a form of reclaiming their bodies and the representation of whole bodies. 

The hosts admit their ignorance, and Morrison-Gurza gives them a patient primer on sexuality between and with disabled people. Give it a listen. Morrison-Gurza tells it like it is! He also penned an expansive essay for Huffington Post about "Boys in Chairs."

Unlike my fictional character, who has a paraplegic boyfriend to pine for (get it?) over the holidays when family gatherings separate them, I spend a simple day with family, then seek out "orphan" gatherings with others, mostly gay men and women.

The closeness or loneliness of holidays can also evoke an erotic longing, no matter your ability. We crave intimacy, both familial and sexual. I can recall several short stories and novels, even TV shows and films, where a gay character, full up with biological family togetherness, escapes his or her former childhood home for adult connections.

I can't remember why or how the winter season and trees became such strong elements for my Reid and Everett novels, other than my own seasonal enjoyment. But it seems to have become popular. 

Here are previous chapter excerpts and posts about the holidays and trees, even Christmas tree cookies, and their first passionate New Year's Eve.

And remember, books are the perfect present!

No comments:

Post a Comment