Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by the literary pseudonym Lewis Carroll, created – among others - a clever and surrealistically funny neologism “Un-birthday”, meaning an event which could be celebrated on any day which is not the person’s real birthday.
The principle is a genial and creative way to mock the apparently untouchable rituals of fixed celebrations and all what is connected with them.
This is not the suitable place, if ever there is one, to polemize with the traditional celebrations which engage every year a rather large part of the world in the period between the beginning of December and the beginning of January.
Probably the ideal solution is that everyone might managed to do what they really like, without feeling any conditioning social pressure either in one direction or in another.
Anyhow I could not help thinking of the un-birthday of Lewis Carroll today, when I received a delightful, whimsical and aesthetically very elegant “Un-Christmas Card” created for me on purpose by a friend who knows me well.
When we use the word “friend” we would always pay attention to what we say and to be cautious to not misuse it at random, there are few special words, which imply very deep and specific meanings. The risk is that they might lose all their peculiar values if they are misused.
A simple good acquaintance cannot be mistaken for a real friend.
We might have a lot of good acquaintance if we are sociable by nature, but in all cases we can have only few real friends.
Friendship needs time, attention, devotion, mutual complicity, thought-sharing, patience, consistency…
Nobody can build up such an articulate and - in a way- demanding relationship with many people at once, the most precious feelings have always certain uniqueness, which is their force.
Leaving some benevolent and kind regular comments to the photo of fellow photographers or clicking a button on Facebook don’t make of us friends, even though many people prefer to simplify the matter like that.
But this is another story…
This digression is to underline that this Un-Christmas card was sent to me by a real friend, who has all my gratitude for knowing me well and still liking me in spite of that.
“But what is the good of friendship if one cannot say exactly what one means?
Anybody can say charming things and try to please and to flatter,
but a true friend always says unpleasant things,
and does not mind giving pain.
Indeed, if he is a really true friend he prefers it, for he knows that then he is doing good.”
~Oscar Wilde ~