Monday, January 14, 2013

Ironic Advent Meditation #23 (Christmas Eve): Redemption Wail

Ironic Advent Meditation #23 (Christmas Eve): Redemption Wail

"Advent is waiting . . . waiting in silence," she said.
I said, no, it’s waiting and whining,
if it’s anything at all
.

You can’t sing "Let all mortal flesh keep SILENCE" and mean it,
for example.
You might quietly whisper--
"Please visit us mysterious far off hidden god," though it
strikes me as strange.

But the O-O part in "O Come O Come Emmanuel" is
at least slightly aggressive (non-passive), like
"what's the deal with the fancy name if I have to
veni, veni, veni for four weeks, four hundred years, forever?"

(I know of course that the O is not in the
O-riginal Latin;
I mean, obviously, that's why they call that language
DEAD.) Jesus didn't speak it; Jerome did. I like Jesus, not Jerome.

Whatever, this sarcasm just begs the question
whether all this hocuspocus means anything at all anyway.
Or if it's just a kind of Methodist Youth Fellowship Twister game with wreaths, and readings, and candles
that leaves you even more frustrated when you're done
because it's still not what you really wanted when you took your shoes off in the first place
and got out of your chair.
I mean, assuming we really want something.

I thought all this while catching forty winks or trying to,
wrung out and dizzy from a day of grading papers
(apologies to those who do real work),
in a room where someone one day risked a lot
to talk to me about some things that mattered--
confusion, cuts, despair,
and love kept silent through a ridiculous long dark night.

But wounds are mouths,
and mouths, of every size and making,
are the way we have of shaping a hope made audible.
I mean, mouthing what we want--sobbing, shrill, shouting.
I mean, assuming we really want something.

Advent is waiting.
But is it worth it? Is it really . . . something, anything at all?
Or just this period we pretend that waiting isn't all there is?
Because it's nothing worth the wreath it's wrapped in,
if it's not, at bottom, a loud wail for "Where the hell is my redemption?"

Back to grading. But just this:
that once mouthy friend is moving on--
with all kinds of questions, angers, and it's so hards,
all sorts of don't have this quite figured out and will I ever?
yet found there's something not quite hiding deep beneath the doubt,
something wanted more than one should ever politely say,
perhaps Love, still suggesting love, after a ridiculous long dark night.

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