Saturday, December 24, 2005

Seasoned Greetings

Tonight we had Christmas Eve service at Montgomery Place. Laura Jean and I took part in a lightly staged reading of W. H. Auden's long Christmas Oratorio, "For The Time Being." We were the first two (of three) Wise Men, decked out in tweed jackets, repenting our "tall errors of imagination." The poem is a pretty interesting, modern re-dressing of the Christmas story, at times funny (as in this excerpt), at times political. It made me want to read through it again.

Anyway, this year is the first year I'll be away from Fresno for Christmas, which is a little bittersweet, but also makes me feel a little bit like a grown-up. Tomorrow we'll have our very own Christmas morning here in Chicago, go to church and then fly to Maryland to catch the tail-end of family dinner there. To all of you I'm not lucky enough to see in person for the holidays, I'd like to wish you each a joyous week. (I really don't want to rant about the so-called War on Christmas except to say: Wha-huh?). To those celebrating Christmas: Merry Christmas. To those celebrating Hanukkah: Happy Hanukkah. To those celebrating something else or nothing at all, best wishes and joy. In the new year, I hope we all may come to better appreciate the gifts of those who are different in various ways.

I'd also like to share my new favorite carol; it's a gorgeous song by Vienna Teng, and you should totally check out her music if you get a chance.

The Atheist Christmas Carol

It's the season of grace coming out of the void
Where a man is saved by a voice in the distance
It's the season of possible miracle cures
Where hope is currency and death is not the last unknown
Where time begins to fade
And age is welcome home

It's the season of eyes meeting over the noise
And holding fast with sharp realization
It's the season of cold making warmth a divine intervention
You are safe here you know now

Don't forget
Don't forget I love
I love
I love you

It's the season of scars and of wounds in the heart
Of feeling the full weight of our burdens
It's the season of bowing our heads in the wind
And knowing we are not alone in fear
Not alone in the dark

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