“Christmas is our time to be aware of what we lack, of who’s not home.” ~ John Irving, from A Prayer for Owen Meany
Sunday night. Less windy and colder, 47 degrees.
Okay, so it’s not exactly afternoon. I got distracted by the sound of my computer crashing over and over . . .
Anyway, I had set aside the following clips to share with you in my attempt to put myself squarely in a somewhat festive mood for the season. After all, I’m only going to be doing all of the lead up to Christmas mostly by myself as Corey won’t be getting home until Christmas eve. So I’ve told myself that I’m going to start this week, try to do a little each day, but the reality is with having Olivia, I never know how my days will turn out.
And truthfully, while I associate my father with Thanksgiving, I associate my mother with Christmas, and this is the first one without her, and I’m trying, really, really trying not to think too much.
So in the spirit of trying . . .
I will admit that I’m one of those people who cries at Christmas Commercials. My favorite was always the Miller “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” sleigh ride. I used to weep buckets. I’ve never been able to find a decent video of it, but I keep hoping. John Lewis (UK) commercials are always wonderful, and this year’s just slays me (it warrants repeating). And then there are the Coke commercials. Remember “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”?
The Stella Artois company did something truly amazing with their commercials this year. Here are two from their “Give Beautifully” series:
More later. Peace.
An Old Man Performs Alchemy on His Doorstep at Christmastime
Cream of Tartar, commonly used to lift meringue and
angel food cake, is actually made from crystallized fine wine.
After they stopped singing for him,
the carolers became transparent in the dark,
and he stepped into their emptiness to say
he lost his wife last week, please
sing again. Their voices filled with gold.
Last week, his fedora nodded hello to me
on the sidewalk, and the fragile breath
of kindness that passed between us
made something sweet of a morning
that had frightened me for no earthly reason.
Surely, you know this by another name:
the mysteries we intake, exhale, could be
sitting on our shelves, left on the bus seat
beside us. Don’t wash your hands.
You fingered them at the supermarket,
gave them to the cashier; intoxicated tonight,
she’ll sing in the streets. Think of the old man.
Who knew he kept the secret of levitation,
transference, and lightness filling a winter night?
— an effortless, crystalline powder
That could almost seem transfigured from loss.
~ Anna George Meek