South Pole Santa
has a whole new
magnetism based
on the doctines
of constellations
not suitable
for Canadians.

i know i promised in my last post that the next would be an erudite analysis of the parallels between Argetine Gaucho culture and the wild-west spirit of old Tibet. but frankly, that is way too academic to suit my mood right now. remember we are on the cusp of summer here in the southern hemisphere, and stickyness doesn´t necessarily nurture scholarlyness. but it´s funny you should mention the weather (ok, i mentioned it) because that is what I HAVE been thinking about. but don´t worry, not in a ´ruminating on the porch´ sort of way.

rather, this upside down christmas in heat  has got me thinking about how christmas is psychically and viscerally linked in us to the weather. to me, the fact that as christams approaches the weather cools and drives us further and further inside is an essential, integral aspect of the holiday´s spiritual power. think of it this way. it gets cold, gloomy, maybe even frosty and snowy and icy. we literally put on layers and layers. we become a little more masked, hidden and inaccessible physically. we are driven to the hearth, whether that be a literal fireplace or whatever plays that role for one. hot chocolate. fudge. the dark and the cold drive us further and further in until we find ourselves in the warmth of the hearth. but wait, the hearth itself is simply a metaphor for heart. christmas, in essence, drives us into ourselves, to find and replenish the warmth of our own heart which, in turn, fuels the generosity which is the pulse of christmas. remember, that´s the huge lesson of Scrooge´s awakening.

but how does my metaphor hold up here in the heat? it´s reversed. we are driven out of the hearth. school´s just ended, the days are interminbly long and sunny, exuberance carries us like a wave OUT, into the street, into the open. the layers of winter come OFF and we want to socialize, to interact, to reach and mingle.

yet in both cases–winter christmas and summer christmas–heat and light is a unifying metaphor. in our winter christmas we must find the heat of generosity within, and the holiday represents an inward search. in our summer christmas a purifying heat and light encompasses all from the outside in, and the holiday represents a sort of communion with community, a recognition of our reliance on a common source of heat and light.

but those are just musings from a guy who thinks too much. while you´re rubbing your hands by the fireplace, or maybe rubbing lotion onto your arms at the beach,  i´ll be working out my sidewalk philosophy of christmas.


About bensten

Teacher, writer, blogger and spiritual practitioner. Managing editor of

3 responses »

  1. Cheleen says:

    hi mr.koch! i think ur website is awesome:) but i dont get it why is it called ten?

  2. Courtney says:

    Merry Christmas, Koch Family!
    -Courtney 🙂

  3. Courtney says:

    Mr. Koch,

    I just wanted to quickly say that I enjoyed reading your post today. Your metaphor was very interesting to think about, especially as Christmas is just days away. I hope the whole family is having a wonderful Christmas!

    Courtney Brown

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