Friday, December 4, 2009

Advent Year Two

I don't remember much about last year's Advent, other than it being part of a long continuum of awfulness. This year feels transitional, though. As if we aren't somewhere else yet, but we could be.

We're going away again, this time to Islamorada in the Middle Florida Keys, on Christmas Day. I'll be in my internship church on Christmas Eve and then perhaps, go ot a midnight service somewhere . . . and then leave at 3:30 am (!) for the airport. Gregarious Son will fly with me; the Quiet Husband and The Lovely Daughter, who have enough time off, will have already left to drive, and will pick us up at the West Palm Beach airport later Christmas Day.

Such a convoluted effort of avoidance!

Last year, our Christmas Dinner consisted of grilled seafood shish-ka-bobs, just the four of us relaxing on the deck on a warm Key West evening. It was a far cry from the raucous and joyful Christmas Dinners in our home over the previous two decades, in which nine or ten families had gathered every year, but it was for us a quiet experience of healing.

This year ~ I don't know. I find myself poised between wanted to hibernate again and wanting to move back out into the world ~ but differently. I have completely lost interest in the traditional gathering at home, and find that I am thinking much more about the vast brokenness manifest in this world at Christmas.

Maybe we will hang out with the homeless next year. Or maybe I will be doing a chaplain residency at Famous Giant Hospital and be more than willing to sign up for a Christmas shift ~ which could mean spending the day with a Muslim here from Saudi Arabia for heart surgery.

I'm not quite ready for any of that this year. I can tell by how much of Christmas I am avoiding: by how we haven't even talked about whether we want a tree, by how I have been walking out of chapel services and classes where Advent hymns are sung ~ music being the most problematic aspect of the whole season, given its evocative nature. I can tell by how my stomach twists everytime I read another piece of writing about the hopefulness of the season ~ and I wrote one of them myself a couple of days ago, in the form of the Prayer of Confession for Sunday's regular worship service.

So no, I'm not ready yet to accompany anyone else through a difficult Advent season. I'm ready for blue sea and blue sky. But I can imagine, albeit faintly, other possibilities.


artandsoul said...

I just discovered your blog journey through one of those spiraling internet treasure hunts, and I just wanted to say something.

I don't know what exactly. I don't have any words of wisdom or comfort.

But I am a human being. A mother. A fellow traveler. A practicing Catholic.

Something in your writing touched my heart.

And I felt something. I don't know what exactly.

Thank you.


Purple said...

Sort of like dipping a toe into the water to check the temperature???

Carol said...

Holding you close as you explore these other possibilities. The glimmer of hope in here warms my heart, GG. Particularly given your post on your other site.
Verification word=BARTR. Seems all to creepily appropriate for this season and your heart.