Thursday, December 11, 2008

Merry something or other

Something about edging towards the shortest daylight of the year seems to bring out that old, pre-rational, animist self in me.  That furtive, creaturely, slightly feral consciousness that tries to paste on tinsel and bright artificial lights and pretend it's real.  But deeper down knows that our real selves are scared, small, and just one cold winter's night away from the edge of the cliff.  Not to be morbid or anything, but the thought of spending a night in a freaking BARN having a BABY, for goodness sake, spilling blood and amniotic fluid into dirty half-frozen straw, while piling next to stinky sweaty animals for dear warmth, kinda puts me more in touch with how Bitter the cold is, than with Macy's tinseltown parade.  Childbirth is not something I've forgotten yet.  It was scary enough without throwing in the homelessness and the blasted bitter cold. 

I have to admit I'm one of those annoyingly p.c. people who somewhere along the way started saying "happy holidays" instead of "merry christmas."  Actually I never thought of it as annoying or particularly p.c. until one of those new reverse p.c. virtual people ( you know, the ones that tell you how everyone else in your demographic thinks but you never actually meet a real person who thinks like that?), told me it was so.  Funny, though, in an effort to be inclusive and thoughtful, I seem to be guilty of somehow watering down what I believe.  Or so I'm told.  Oh well, I guess I better quit this line of thought before sarcasm sucks me in even deeper.

All that sparkles is not snark.  I know, I should be arrested for flagrant punning in a non-malaprop zone.  My punishment is to go read something uplifting and happy re-gifting.  

And if it still feels like none of what's going on in the world right now makes any sense at all - you're right!  But it's impossible to feel grateful and guilty at the same time (that's my blurb for the day, except it's true), or rather, humbled and bitter don't co-exist well.  So I'm trying to focus on the certainty that " . . . in Him there is no darkness at all" and that "He is faithful and just to forgive us  . . ." and of course that "whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine you did for me . . ." while reconciling it all with this faltering, fainting flesh of mine that is so painfully afraid of the cold.

If I despise anything at all it's the bone-shivering, utter black, miserable COLD of winter.  But lately the "hate" part of me seems to be a waste of energy when I have so little to spare.  Fitting it is, that becoming a less hating person is no act of virtue at all but a matter of just eventually running out of steam.

". . . became flesh and walked among us."  Would I follow Him into a homeless shelter tonight, or can I at least sit here and be genuinely grand-spankin' grateful for all that I have?  Okay, cheerio.  Good night.

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