Sunday, December 18, 2011

Daffodil in December

What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?
Awake the voice! Awake the string!

Dark and dull night, fly hence away,
And give the honor to this day,
That sees December turned to May.

Why does the chilling winter’s morn
Smile, like a field beset with corn?
Or smell like a meadow newly-shorn,
Thus, on the sudden? Come and see
The cause, why things thus fragrant be:
‘Tis He is born, whose quickening birth
Gives life and luster, public mirth,
To heaven, and the under-earth.

We see him come, and know him ours,
Who, with his sunshine and his showers,
Turns all the patient ground to flowers.
The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is, we find a room
To welcome him. The nobler part
Of all the house here, is the heart.

Which we will give him; and bequeath
This holly, and this ivy wreath,
To do him honour, who’s our King,
And Lord of all this revelling.

What sweeter music can we bring,
Than a carol for to sing
The birth of this our heavenly King?

~~Robert Herrick

Friday, December 9, 2011

when I heard

Yesterday we brought Mo home from her first semester of college. We were in the car for thirteen hours and thirteen hours in the car is a test of endurance. We listened to the audio version of A Christmas Carol for a while and we listened to a lot of music, and toward the end when we were all getting punchy we sang along.

That's when I heard.

She no longer sings like a teenager.

Her voice is a woman's voice.

I heard.


It's weird to return here after such a long silence - a silence that is surely longer than the dates indicate. In some places in me, it's the silence of my whole lifetime.

Silence, I'm thinking this more and more as I get older,

silence carries a lot of weight.

And when it's broken, when it should be broken, it's weighty then too.

But the breaking of particular silences will not happen here, at least as far as I can see. Not that anyone has asked or expected it, at least to my knowledge. So if you're here hoping for a morsel or a tidbit to chew or hold or hold forth or offer onward that ain't happening, my friend.

As much as I love the written word - the shapes of letters and the combinations of them that make each word possible and then the assemblage of words that put together ideas or emotions into paragraphs and poems - as much as I love the rules of grammar and the breaking of those very rules,

as much as I love the written word,

some words are meant to be spoken, and maybe only once. They are offered to the hearing and they are either taken in by that one or the many

or they are not.

And with that, they are gone.

So I guard the many words of my particular silences and choose carefully my hearers.

The hearers of these particulars are not here.

But there is plenty here to be heard, if one cares to stick around and listen.