In 1997, I was starting to lose myself. I left my job voluntarily under the guise of making a go of running my own business. Even then, I had to know that it would have been an impossibility but it didn't matter. I was lost. I was in the process of a total life destruction over a two-year span that would end my marriage, many friendships, financial security... let's see, have I left anything out?
As I was "dying" to the life that I had known, I was still doing intense spiritual work, attempting to heal what felt impossible to heal. As I read this poem, the feelings of what was coursing through my mind and heart were captured in this analogy of a man as a tree. I find it ironic that I took the green symbol of the season and was able to adapt it to fit the process I was in the teeth of.
In splendor, enchantment and twinkling lights,
A beautiful Christmas memory’s born.
Worlds away, at harvesting time,
the tree was cut quite early one morn.
Magical, memorable, this holiday scene
With our centerpiece tree all decked out in glory.
But an incredible tale lies hidden within,
The harvesting cut revealing the story.
Not all history is written in books;
A seedling is planted and nurtured along.
Recording the seasons and conditions within,
Adding on layers, it grows tall and strong.
Reflecting all wounds in gashes and knots,
The growth rings continue to lay out the chart.
And though the tree broadens and stretches to sky
The seedling still beats at the evergreen’s heart.
So what do you see when you look at this tree,
What it is, or what it became?
The answer reflects the wisdom within,
For men are like trees, the process the same.
A child is born in innocence and love
In a world that will weather him some.
He covers his wounds, he stretches to sky
And we comments on what he’s become.
His titles like ornaments, the money like stars,
More prizes and presents to win.
But must we cut down this man at the knees
To discover the child within?
As a tree must layer, a man must shed some
To discover, remember and heal
The seedling, the child, the love deep inside
For that is all which is real.
December 1997 notables:
1st - GS Warrior guard Latrell Sprewell, attacks his coach P J Carlesimo
1st - Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Davenport IA on KORB 93.5 FM
1st - Westinghouse formally changes its name to CBS
2nd - MCI Center opens in Wash DC, Wizards vs SuperSonics
3rd - "1776," opens at Gershwin Theater NYC
3rd - Golden State Warrior guard Latrell Sprewell, four-year, $32 million, contract terminated for attacking his coach P J Carlesimo
4th - "Diary of Anne Frank," opens at Music Box Theater NYC
4th - NBA suspends Latrell Sprewell for 1 year for attacking his coach
5th - 1st Game at Wash Capitals' MCI Center vs Fla Panthers
5th - STS 87 (Columbia 24) lands
7th - Amy Fruhwirth & Clarence Rose win LPGA J C Penney Classic
8th - 8th Billboard Music Awards: LeAnn Rimes & Spice Girls win
11th - "Sunshine Boys," opens at Lyceum Theater NYC
11th - Fed judge orders Microsoft not to bundle IE4 in Windows
11th - The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change opens for signature.
12th - Carlos the Jackal, "professional revolutionary" goes on trial in Paris
12th - Florida releases Alex Arias, the last original Marlin
12th - Japanese train builders (Maglev) claim world speed record at 332 MPH
12th - Red Sox sign Pedro Martinez to record 6 year $69 million contract
12th - SWAT team shoots John E Armstrong in Fla, freeing 2 young hostages
12th - TWA 800 hearings end
12th - Fed judge sentences Autumn Jackson, who claims to be Bill Cosby's daughter, to 26 months for trying to extort $40 million from him
13th - 63rd Heisman Trophy Award: Charles Woodson, Michigan (CB)
14th - "View From the Bridge," opens at Criterion Theater NYC
14th - Diners Club Senior Golf Match
14th - Juli Inkster & Dottie Pepper win LPGA Diners Club Matches
14th - Phoenix Coyote Mike Gartner is 5th NHLer to score 700 goals
15th - SF 49ers retire Joe Montana's #16
16th - President Clinton names his Labrador retriever, "Buddy"
18th - HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium.
19th - MTV drops video "Smack My Bitch Up" by Prodigy
21st - Detroit Lions Barry Sanders is 3rd to run for 2,000 yards in a season
21st - Detroit Lions linebacker Reggie Brown, knocked unconscious in game
21st - Lexus Senior Golf Challenge
21st - Wendy's Three-Tour Senior Golf Challenges
21st - Wendy's Three-Tour LPGA Challenge
22nd - Hunter Tylo awarded $4 million in Melrose Place breach of contract
22nd - Merck baldness pill for men approved by FDA
22nd - Nancy Kerrigan & Tonya Harding pre-record a show to air on FOX on Feb 5
22nd - Acteal massacre: Attendees at a prayer meeting of Roman Catholic activists for indigenous causes in the small village of Acteal in the Mexican state of Chiapas are massacred by paramilitary forces.
23rd - Chic Bull coach Phil Jackson is quickest to reach 500 wins (682 games)
23rd - Colo Avalanche Jari Kurri is 8th NHLer to score 600 career goals
23rd - Terry Nichols found guilty of manslaughter in Oklahoma bombing
23rd - US Agriculture Dept estimates it costs $149,820 to raise a child to 18
23rd - Woody Allen, 62 weds Soon-Yi Previn 27, adopted daughter of Mia Farrow
24th - 1st time a Channukah candle is officially lit in Vatican City
24th - The Sid El-Antri massacre (or Sidi Lamri) in Algeria kills 50-100 people.
24th - The Dominican Republic becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
25th - For 1st time US movie box office receipts pass $6 billion
25th - Jerry Seinfeld says this is the final season of his TV show
26th - The Soufriere Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat explodes, creating a small tsunami offshore.
27th - Protestant paramilitary leader Billy Wright is assassinated in Northern Ireland.
28th - Sting beats Hollywood Hogan for WCW Championship
29th - Carquest Bowl 8: Georgia Tech beats West Virginia, 35-30
29th - Hong Kong begins slaughtering all its chickens to prevent bird flu
29th - Orville Lynn Majors, 36, arrested for many deaths under his care
29th - Russia signs agreement to build a $3B nuclear power plant in China
30th - An abandoned building collapses on NY's 42nd St, no one hurt
30th - In the worst incident in Algeria's insurgency, the Wilaya of Relizane massacres, 400 people are killed from four villages.
31st - Intel cuts price of Pentium II-233 MHz from $401 to $268
31st - Marv Levy, retires as coach of Buffalo Bills
31st - Microsoft buys Hotmail E-mail service
31st - More Swedes died than were born in 1997, 1st time since 1809
31st - Orlando Hernandez, half-brother of pitcher Livan, defects from Cuba
31st - S Afr & US surgeons separate Zambian Siamese twins joined at the head