Slouching towards Bethlehem

There’s a certain posting apathy in the blog community right now. Lots of my neighbors are whining about it and I feel it, too. Is there a finite lifespan to a blog? Maybe. Seasonal affective disorder? I didn’t used to believe in that but now I do. Getting some sun in the winter used to be a luxury; now it’s essential to my well-being. At some point do we start to feel trite writing about Chex mix as the the world goes to hell in a hand basket? I know I do. Sigh.


The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Here’s the thing about religion: If people would just lighten up about it, it can be a real comfort in one’s life. It matters not what you are, if anything at all.  Spiritus Mundi. Just get with the symbolism. Take Advent. It’s like Winter Lent. It’s dark, you consider how it got to be so dark, change your ways and then you see the light.   

I love Advent. Are you ready? Getting ready? (If I still used that blog posting music program, this is where Leonard Bernstein’s Something’s Coming would click in. "Who knows, could it be? Yes, it could. Something’s coming. Something good. Around the corner…") Four Sundays before Christmas, Christians start preparing for the Second Coming while commemorating the first coming of that little munchkin in a manger, Baby Jesus. … Our salvation. Surrounded by pigs and bunnies.

So loosen up here. Stretch out on the floor like a cat. Back arched, limbs as far as they will go. S-t-r-e-t-c-h…Okay. Sit up tall, legs crossed. TALL! That string is pulling your head up, your spine up, the space between your vertebrae is lengthening, opening. Alright. Breathe in deeply, breathe out. RELAX. Drop your shoulders. Drop ’em! Pull your head back so it’s sitting on your spine, not stuck out there in space somewhere. Clear your brain. A few more cleansing breaths. Are you with me?

Now. Thinking loosely here, symbolically, metaphorically- couldn’t you do with a Second Coming right about now? A light at the end of the tunnel? Someone to help pull you and me and us out of the mire? (What is myrrh anyway, besides a good scrabble word? See how relaxed, stream-of-conscious I am?).

Candles. Purple candles. They’re cool, yes? Symbolizing the wait, the hope, the expectation? So, we count down to a special time. The Sunday before Christmas we switch to more joyous rose colored candles. The Lenten rose! Ere how a rose is blooming!

Then what? Well, depending on your perspective, it can be a time of great joy. You get The Gift to beat all gifts. Or you get something from Walmart or Macy’s. Maybe a big credit card bill (remember yesterday’s discussion about credit cards). Whatever you get, if you let yourself hope, if you let yourself consider the possibilities, then you at least get that. And perhaps the energy of that hoping and expecting moves out from you into the world at large and spreads to someone else. Maybe, in considering the possibilities, you look inside yourself and find a place to scrape and kindle a small spark. These are good things, yes? It doesn’t have to be the Second Coming. It can be just a second coming. A re-cognition. A small realization.

When you’re simple, religion is easy. Easier than, say, interpreting Yeats. This post could be called "Religion been good to me" but everybody is sort of slouching right now. The beginning of winter slump. The tired of Washington blues. The Global Warming whinies. I know I’m slouching here. But I think I should stretch out, sit up straight and consider the possibilities. Can’t hurt.

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14 responses to “Slouching towards Bethlehem

  1. THIS, my dear, is my favorite post of yours ever. I do so love me some Advent 🙂

  2. Great post, and I feel enriched by it. You are correct on everything, Vicki. And I don’t have blog apathy yet, but I can feel it at times. Then I just go away for a couple days, and can’t wait to come back to share silly, small things or big, serious ones.

  3. Vicki, I’m here via Margaret.

    This is a LOVELY post. I was just thinking that I needed to talk about Advent for all my grinch like readers. 🙂 Now, I think I’ll just send them to your blog.

    Thank you!

  4. Margaret said it for me, too.

  5. I think we all take ourselves and this blogging thing too seriously sometimes.

    I’m with you on the seasonal affective crankiness – I look forward to the coming of light (and hope) at the solstice.

  6. thank you very very very much.. please write more… please visit my blog often… please and thank you.. I need more of this. 🙂

  7. Sounds like some of that damn yoga to me. I be slouching, and enjoying.

    World be better off without religion. Muslims don’t seem to care much about other folks. Not like I care about them.

  8. ahhhh this makes me miss you more. I did give you my # right so I can see you when I come…now its looking like if I come 😦 I hate school.

  9. First of all, I love Chex Mix.
    Second, that hope of the Second Coming keeps me going but the fact of the First Coming gives me a quiet peace here. At least most of the time; if I’m not to busy trying to be so in charge of everything.

    About the blogging. The pumpkin saga is almost over. Maybe three more? No one has left any questions yet. How do you think your neighbors would take a pumpkin vine growing out of the courtyard and down the street? I can send seeds!?

    I am considering a trip up to Williamsburg to see and photograph this years bounty of wreaths and decorations and to sample that nectar that is the hot cider they sell. Send a little cold air this way so that it feels more like the North Pole than the Bahamas, please.

    Look, Nyssa! I can do Virginia Woolf too!

  10. Who do you think you are? Bonnie?

    Hoss made me laugh with his bad-ass atheist self.

  11. Wow, you made me sit up straight at the computer!

  12. I’m an atheist who loves winter solstice. I just said to someone the other day that we really are a few days away from the return of the sun. That’s the coming of the light that I’m looking forward to. I haven’t minded the darkness, and those cranky blogging doldrums sometimes produce the loveliest of posts. What is advent? Does it correspond to the solstice and the sun starting its transit northward? I’ll have to google it.

  13. Oh, your title. . . . that’s one of my favorite poems!

    This is my favorite time of year, too. It’s all ahead of us, all just ahead.

    Anticipation is wonderful. Except the kind you feel in the dentist’s waiting room, of course.

  14. This was a good post. I was feeling quite relaxed until Robin mentioned the dentist…

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