Monday, December 16, 2013

Ironic Advent Meditation #16: Coming Attractions.


Some friends think that I'm writing the Ironic Advent Meditations because of the death of my brother Noel. That's not accurate. I wrote Ironic Advent Meditations every day of Advent last year, and I had always planned to do it again. Just why I'm doing it I can't say for sure. But it's not because of Noel in any direct way.

But some have noted a certain somewhat gloomy attitude (or edgy or bleak or whatever) in the meditations. That's because of Joe, not Noel. And because of the way the world is after three billion years of waiting (give or take a few billion) for the advent prophecies and promises to be fulfilled. Put another way, one might say it's because of God. Or God's absence. Or his very excellent hiding.

On the other hand, I don't think they are all gloomy or all that gloomy. If you've read Salinger or Kierkegaard or Dostoevsky or Walker Percy, my meditations are sweet little dollops of Advent candy. I even did one about a dog. And another about my daughter. And one about Saint Nicholas and the pickled kids. And, I think, many suggested glimpses of the hidden God. If God really is hiding.

About Noel. Like God, he is everywhere in what I'm writing, but not out front. I don't want to force his story into some Advent mold. Noel, as befits a boy of that name who insisted on pronouncing it that way (noEL), is a Christmas baby. He was born on December 20th. He came home on Christmas morning. That was maybe my earliest memory. And another was the way we used to sing "The First Noel" at midnight mass and think it was about him. Back when we called him wet-wet-baby. Believe me, Noel is on my mind and I'm not forgetting anything. 

If you stay with me, I'll be writing 12 pieces for the 12 days of Christmas season (Christmas Day through Epiphany) as I did last year. This year those will all be about Noel, in one way or another. I plan to call them The Twelve Songs of Noel. They will be about his birth, his childhood, his lovely and not-so-lovely ways. His dying. His death. And those involved in his life and dying and death.

I got my grades in today. I am very tired now. I don't know about tomorrow. I hope to be sending out some Christmas pencils and old Disney VHS tapes soon, in lieu of fudge. Last year I gave someone a grocery-store's entire supply of Kraft Caramels, all my garden herbs, and some excellent pencils. And lots of other things like books. I thought it might cure my baldness, but no such luck. I don't have the address to send more pencils and caramels. And I'm keeping my herbs this winter.

This week, I'm going to write twelve songs in a minor key. Then, maybe, it will be Christmas. I'll know it's come for sure when I receive a picture drawn or a poem written with one of those pencils. And lots of caramels. And love.

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