Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 23: The Worst Day, Accidents and Death, Joseph Brodsky, "A Poem for Christmas"

Wilbur couldn't believe what was happening to him when Lurvy caught him and forced the medicine down his throat.   This was certainly the worst day of his life.  He didn't know whether he could endure the awful loneliness any more.

Wilbur is having a bad day.  He misses Fern.  He's in a new place.  None of the other animals want to befriend him.  In the grand scheme of things, Wilbur's bad day isn't really that bad.  In fact, in a little while, he's going to learn of Zuckerman's plan to turn him into smoked bacon and pork chops.  Talk about bad days.

First, my apologies for not posting yesterday.  It was quite a Monday.  First, my phone rang at 5 a.m.  My sister got in an accident and totaled her car.  Then, in the afternoon, I received a text from my other sister informing me that my uncle had died.  In the evening, I moved snow for over an hour.  By the time I finally sat down, I barely knew my own name.  Posting was impossible.

So, tonight, I'm blogging.  My Christmas poem is done.  The Christmas album is almost done.  I just spent a couple hours wrapping presents with my wife.  Tomorrow morning, I will make a dessert for Christmas day.  That's one thing about Christmas.  Whether you're ready for it or not, it always arrives.

My prayer concerns are multiple this Tuesday night.  I ask you to pray for my sister who got into the car accident.  She's bruised and sore.  I ask you to pray for my uncle's family as they prepare to say goodbye.  And I ask you to pray for my wife's great aunt, who we just learned passed away yesterday, as well.  It has been a really terrible 48 hours.

Saint Marty was hoping 2014 was going to go out with a whimper instead of a roar.  Not too much whimpering going on these days.

A Poem for Christmas

by:  Joseph Brodsky, trans. by Seamus Heaney

Imagine striking a match that night in the cave:
use the cracks in the floor to feel the cold.
Use crockery in order to feel the hunger.
And to feel the desert - but the desert is everywhere.

Imagine striking a match in that midnight cave,
the fire, the farm beasts in outline, the farm tools and stuff;
and imagine, as you towel your face in the towel's folds,
the bundled up Infant and Mary and Joseph.

Imagine the kings, the caravans' stilted procession
as they make for the cave, or rather three beams closing in
and in on the star; the creaking of loads, the clink of a cowbell;
(but in the cerulean thickening over the Infant

no bell and no echo of bell: He hasn't earned it yet.)
Imagine the Lord, for the first time, from darkness, and stranded
immensely in distance, recognising Himself in the Son of Man:
homeless, going out to Himself in a homeless one.

What else can you do?

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