Wine may have been involved
A few nights back, I attended a "Ladies Evening" with wine and art at the Artist Angle. (Notice which came first - wine.) Most attendees were local artists and their guests.
The atmosphere was bright, merry and gay - all aided by the array of potential artistic Christmas gifts - and wine.
Three of us clustered around a pillar and compared the state of our Christmas preparations. I shared how hearing the first Christmas songs in any store will send me into a season-long deep depression.
But...after multiple decades of an annual, holiday-induced depression, I have learned how to mask it (for the comfort of others). Sometimes, the mask slips and then others view me as crabby, think I am stressed to the max, or judge me a cold-shouldered snob.
And then, I admitted it.
I said out loud what only two other people in the world know about me.
(...wine may have been involved.)
My Christmas wish
For most of my childhood and all of my adult years, I have had only one true Christmas wish.
One yearning that grips my heart.
One longing that fills my eyes with the burning tears of a hope that drops into abandonment, disappointment.
All my life - the only thing I have ever wanted ... is to fall on my knees because I heard the angels sing.
What would that look like?
She, asked me, while wiping a tear from her eye, "What would that look like?"
"How would you know?"
I see it...I have seen the same place and time in my vision from the very beginning. I see the night sky, filled with stars.
I decided to go looking for stars.
If I find the stars will I hear the angels sing?
(Ohhhhh....is this why my insomniac photo-treks feel as a sacred communion?)
This Madonna and Child
The Madonna belonged to my Great Aunt Marie; someone so secretly devout that no one knew she was a Third Order religious until they saw her dressed in habit in her casket. The Sisters felt she was so saintly she deserved to be buried in the habit of the Order.
She left the Madonna to her brother - my grandfather.
My grandfather left the Madonna to my mother.
I saw this picture every day of my preteen and adolescent life that I lived in my parents home. And when my mother knew her transition was approaching, she asked us three kids if we wanted something specific.
I wanted the Madonna. Only the Madonna.
This picture has always represented the beauty and spirit of Christmas for me - a mother's abiding love for her child.
Are there angels in the background of the photo? Are they singing?
I think I shall say "yes".
My Christmas wishes for you...
May your holidays be filled with love.
May you be healthy and happy.
May all your desires be fulfilled.
And...if you feel it...go looking for stars...
Because the angels may sing for you.