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Dept. of Not Losing the Light

Silent night, holy night ....

Would that it were, for all of us, in some way. Would that peace, good will to all would resound on earth as it did in heaven, once upon a time, (or so we were told.) Would that those heavens could be filled with a joyous multitude rejoicing that God With Us was born on Earth and in our hearts, rising in patience and forgiveness and understanding that would flow from heart to heart.

Oh, the human heart. Tillich said once (and I paraphrase slightly) that sin is the separation of human from human, human from self, and human from the Ground of Being. When we live alone in our hearts, separated from our fellows, what can follow but sin and sorrow?

And does it not seem that this is now the case here on Earth?

The world is filled with blank-eyed, bloody-mouthed cruelty. Young and old are seduced into selfishness and we live apart from each other, either scrabbling for day to day survival, or suffocating in surfeit.

What a pitiful thing we are. What an evil, what a waste upon the face of the cosmos, the chorus shrills again and again.

Could anyone blame me - blame us - for recoiling from ourselves in disgust, for giving up?

But somehow, we don't. Somehow we keep going.

We as individuals sometimes fall, but more times we get up and stagger on. We as a world lurch and spin and teeter on the edge of annihilation of spirit and place. And we are teetering every day, every second - and yet we have somehow, for now, refused our own annihilation.


I think - general agnostic and sometime atheist and defrocked Northern Baptist that I am - that whatever there is in the universe that yearns towards light and warmth and good still burns in some corner of our hearts. The filth of all we do ill may nearly extinguish it. And it alone, that tiny burning spark, is not enough by itself to keep us warm, or keep us from dying inside.

But it is there, and it stubbornly refuses to be completely doused. With patience, love and hard, hard, heart-breaking work, it may yet burst into flame again.

Here at the turning of the year, I choose to believe, for however short a time, in the birth of a child who is the sign of ultimate love. I choose, who does not even know if one exists, to welcome God With Us. I choose to welcome the sun from darkness, and follow stars into light, and reject - oh, silly human that I am - all that is petty, if only for one blessed silent, holy night.

Once upon a time I wrote about how much I love the movie It's A Wonderful Life, (and this is connected, believe me.) I wrote my own coda to the story. And each year on Christmas Eve, even in years where confusion and sadness are inescapable, as they are this year,  I remember the love that shone through that movie, and recall the silent and holy nights of my youth, and decide to believe, for a little while longer, in the completely irrational and unsupportable victory of light against the darkness.

Blessings to all of you who I know, and also to those who I don't know. Blessings to you in whatever form you will take them. Star of Bethlehem. Welcoming of the Yule. Turning from cold to warmth, from death to life, in whatever fashion it seems best to you. I hope to have the grace to carry you all in my heart for the coming year.

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/243806.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 25th, 2012 04:25 am (UTC)
Bless you.
Dec. 25th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
And you, my dear, with merriment besides!
Dec. 25th, 2012 05:15 am (UTC)
Many blessings to you and yours, dear one. And Happy Holidays.

I think Moffat and Co said it for me best actually 'Halfway out of the dark.' That shivers with truth then and even now. May you know the warmth of the light and the fullness of love.

Merry Christmas, sweetie.

Dec. 25th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
'Halfway out of the dark.'

It's good to be halfway out of the dark. Now, if we could just find our way fully into the light; but yes, there is hope in that.

Thank you for your wishes, my dear, and may you and your loved ones remember this day with great joy.
Dec. 25th, 2012 06:03 am (UTC)
Peace and joy to you!
Dec. 25th, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
And unto you, my friend!
Dec. 25th, 2012 09:45 am (UTC)
Beautiful and touching. Blessings to you and to the winter light that keeps burning inside us all as we move through the dark times - both seasonal and personal. We're past the longest night now, the light is coming back. May it shine on you and your family.
Dec. 25th, 2012 05:05 pm (UTC)
We are indeed past the longest night, and glad I am of it.

Thank you for your beautiful wishes, and may the light shine also on you.
Dec. 25th, 2012 10:07 am (UTC)
Merry Christmas to you! May the joy of the shepherds and the wisemen who came seeking Emmanuel be yours this season.

(We were able to find It's A Wonderful Life here, and we watched it. Life is better for it.)
Dec. 25th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's so good to hear - I never get tired of watching it. While we didn't do so this year, at least on Christmas Eve, I plan on watching it soon. My heart needs it.
Dec. 25th, 2012 10:21 am (UTC)
And blessings to you.
Dec. 25th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and yuletide greetings to you and your family.
Dec. 26th, 2012 06:42 am (UTC)
It's a day late but best wishes to you and yours on this wonderful Newtonmass.
Dec. 26th, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC)
And a merry Newtonmass to you, too, (although, given the historically confirmed irascibility of the scientific saint in question, I'm not sure he'd have been much fun around a punchbowl or a decorated tree. Perhaps one with lots of carved apple-people hanging from the branches?)

My very best wishes to you and to yours, my friend!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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