Saturday, December 25, 2010

Of Pancakes and Panavision

Merry Christmas to my bride who I love with all my heart and to whom I probably do a truly dreadful job of expressing just that sentiment and to my young adults f/k/a my children. I am happy more than I can ever adequately express that even though the overwhelming majority of the year's mornings find us not all under the same roof, this morning does. Merry Christmas as well to Joe and the rest of the Bozzomo clan. Merry Christmas to one and all of the various and sundry branches of the Kenny family from our matriarch enjoying Christmas "Joanie Style" (no snow in the forecast and 80+ degrees on the thermometer) in Jupiter, Florida to my eldest brother and his crew occupying our Northernmost point in Connecticut to my sibs and their respective offshoots of the family tree planted near and far: Merry Christmas. I hope that Christmas finds you well and at peace. If you can make some time for a bit of merriment, then so be it.

It was once written, "If the decision was mine to make and time was mine to tether, then I would take a picture of this moment now.....and freeze this frame forever." The decision is never our though; right? And among the innumerable things we cannot do to time is tether it. It marches on - as relentless as the rain.

This morning I shall - as I have done for as many years as I can remember - put on my chef's hat (OK, it will be a baseball cap and this year it shall likely be the cap I purchased to remind me of my participation in the 5th Annual Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski Run that happened on November's first Sunday) and prepare Christmas morning breakfast. It is the only day all year that I cook breakfast. Other than grilling throughout the parts of the year that are considerably warmer than this particular part of the year, breakfast on Christmas morning is the only meal I cook all year. In the interest of full disclosure, it is not as if I oppose preparing breakfast for my family. It is that I leave for work six days a week at least an hour and a half before anyone else in my household has to be up for the day. I long ago realized that no one among my crew values quality time with the old man more than sleep. And candidly, theirs is a position that is both easy to understand and easy to defend.

No one has ever died eating my Christmas morning breakfast - or even gotten ill from doing so (at least as far as I know). Then again, no one has ever asked aloud why I do not cook breakfast more often. Perhaps a tradition is best preserved when done in moderation.

Last night - at the traditional Christmas Eve celebration at Joe's home - Joe, Frank and Margaret added a wrinkle to the festivities. Apparently years ago, when Margaret and Frank were small children (in some cases not more than 1 and 2 years old respectively), Joe and Suzy B. had a 8 mm film camera. They used it to make home movies. I never knew that had done such a thing. I had never seen any of the film until last night. Simply extraordinary stuff.

A view back in time courtesy of a black-and-white photograph is a wonderful look in its own right. However, having been extended the privilege and pleasure of seeing Margaret and Frank as small children enjoying Christmas morning under the loving gaze of their parents - my in-laws - was nothing short of extraordinary. Last night we were all given the chance to do something spectacular. We were given permission to see things not from a historical perspective often associated with still frame imagery but, instead, from an "in the moment" perspective. For as we watched Margaret and Frank and Joe and Suzy B in action, for a moment they were back in that place in time. And for a moment we were there as well.

Only for a moment to be sure. And once that moment passed, we were reminded just how many frames have passed through the film projector that is our mind since that moment occurred. But its brevity did not lessen the experience. Far from it. What an extraordinary trip it was.

And one that I hope we take again this time next Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

-AK

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