Sunday, December 15, 2002

Back From Church

Open your hymnals kids and sing out -- it's Greatest Hits Week at church. Joy To The World. O Come All Ye Faithful. Angels We Have Heard On High. Silent Night. Oldies and goodies. I prayed a lot today. So much to pray for. I prayed for you. I did. Don't you need it? I know you do. I prayed that you can step back and look at everything with a little more distance -- it always helps.

Pull a card -- try the Wheel of Fortune. When you step back you see yourself small and you see the big old world rolling around and around, the days go by, the weeks, the months, new seasons. Amazing that we're in the season of Christmas now. How did that happen? Fortuna in the Marseilles deck. It reminds us there are forces larger than ourselves. Stories come from our missteps, our faux pas, our human failings, from our mysterious passions.

I was an angel a year ago. Now I'm an angel again as we had our riotous rehearsal today after coffee hour at church. A rowdy crew of girl angels (ranging in ages from 4 to 46) wait at the back of the church and on queue, "Then suddenly a band of angels .." come ass over tea kettle, thundering herd of girl power up the aisles past pews, singing "Glor-or-or-or-or-ia In Eggs Shells See Day-O" I have a candy cane stuck on my back molar that one of the Brittney look-alike 14-year-old girls gave me right before we ran up, makes it hard to sing. Each girl is funny and zany and out of control and pretty and noisy and angelic. It's really fun to do something at church with a bunch of people NOT your age.

The jesus in the manger is a dirty old baby doll with a rubbery face and an open mouth that shouts out "FEED ME." Up on stage the angels (halo-less, wing-less) and the shepards, (most will wear old dish towels on their heads with rope headbands, but we're not in costume yet) stand around Mary and Joseph. What a strange story. They had a baby but he never got her pregnant. Hmmm. So it must be about something else. That miracles can happen. That love can happen. That in the darkest coldest winter night, a star can shine out and love can warm you. Not a bad story.

In the car coming back from church I'm singing stuff from choirs long past, "For Unto Us" from the Messiah and "Wassail Wassail, All Over The Town" and Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols and really feeling sad that my favorite person to sing harmony with, my sister Tracy, isn't there to sing with me. We're in a familial fall-out, not speaking to each other for some idiotic reason. Gotta fix that.