The reality of traditions – or how to take advices

Yesterday I wrote about the mystery of traditions. It really was a short ode to them. I compared them to poetry, for heaven’s sake.

1. Learn more about the person than from the advice itself

But don’t be fooled. I usually am the first one to dismiss – to scorn even – social norms and obligations, which is why I am always surprised when I discover some good in them.

So I will probably only write good things about them, because the inverse is so obvious to me that I won’t bother.

2. Beware of the author’s obsessions

Unless I’m particular proud of an analogy. So today I’d like to add that true, traditions are like poetry. I didn’t even want to start on how traditions can be stifling and perpetrate inequalities, until I got excited that poetry is also stifling and rigid and how wave after wave of writers seeks to abolish the precedent rules of text structure.

So traditions are nice as long as they don’t eat up our whole lives; after all who would only want to speak in sonnets and verses?

3. Always remember that there’s theory and then there’s practice

It’s such a great analogy. I’m sitting here, very satisfied with myself… until he comes in, tiny arms stretched up asking for a hug.

He’s had two Christmases, two New Years. I’m wondering what kind of traditions do I want to pass on to him?

I’m not sure. My analogy seems quite useless now. I think we’ll just have figure it out together.

The mystery of traditions

Today is the Chinese New Year.

Yesterday million of families have cleaned their homes and houses. They did not throw away the resulting trash bags, as that would be throwing away last year’s good fortune and memories.

Today despite cooking, guests, families, there will be no sweeping: that would mean brushing off the new year’s luck.

Science cannot explain why traditions matter, but it does. It makes me feel connected. It makes time flow differently… It gives symbolism and poetry to our reality.

Poetry. This rings true, doesn’t it? It doesn’t change the content, but brings rhythm and structure. It make our individual lives rime with those of a larger community.

So I’ll be keeping with these traditions. Even if it means I have to leave my warm bed to rush and do groceries before my friends come to make dumplings… now!