Merry Christmas to All

Our House

Here’s a picture of Christmas on Mystery Island. I just went outside and sat for a while in the Southern California midnight. Finally finished writing the Xmas Nick Danger for NPR, two miraculous days before deadline. It’s practically warm out and we’ve got some Christmas lights up outside and they look so good it makes me want to get in the Locomobile and head north to our little other house, but we can’t until next week, so for now the little lights of the Hollywood Hills will have to do.

Many years ago, before Oona came into my life even, I spent a Christmas in the little town of Hotevilla which is set up on one of the mesas that constitute what anyone who’s been there has to think of as Hopiland. The Christmas in question was called Soyal out there, up on the mesa, the snow three feet deep, cedar smoke rumbling out of oil drum burners, old people up all night, awaiting feathers, tracks in the snow. The little town of hornets, the people of corn, the nest on top of the world, the whitewashed walls, the cold. These people pray, among other tasks of Soyal, for the peace of the entire world, which is their world, encompassing mine and ours, out there, every year. A Mohawk friend showed me the place where the big Hopi pictograph is carved into black rock, other side of the big road, still Hotevilla.

Years later, Oona and I went to Hotevilla and looked around and I found the pictograph and to myself promised that Oona and I would always be together, that it was my job in life to take care of her and that I loved her and that’s the way life is. Thirty years later is the result. She’s asleep now and I’m up writing. She’s taken lately to wearing this amusing purple knit hat to bed and in the flickery glow of Nightline her beautiful face looks suspiciously like that of Hoodsie, a character in a cartoon we both love. I guess that’s what happened at Hopi in the late sixties. I asked for peace and a few short years later, there she was. And there she is. Think I’ll go to bed and work on this later.