Monday, February 29, 2016

Midwinter (Blogophilia 2.9)

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
 earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
In the traditional hymn setting by Gustav Holst, Christina Rosseti imagines Christ's birth as being in the midwinter and everyone is in the barn or kitchen huddling for warmth against both the actual cold of the winter and the figurative cold of the authorities. Another hero beginning his journey against the travails of the world. A journey that echoes well unto today.

How many of us are in an emotional bleak midwinter? Staying dormant and wishing for spring? The world has turned scary once again with modern versions of Herod and Augustus plotting to take each others lands and flocks. And each Ruler, Pharisee and Saducee says they are the righteous one. History has always proven them wrong. That they are as craven, corrupt and violent as all the powerful before them. Quick to abuse their privilege at the expense of everyone. 

We can imagine ourselves as rebels. We want to rise up and tell these fools Kemosabe, kiss my ass, I'm going out to sea!  We might have even marched and held signs. A few of us may well have been beaten and arrested for our trouble. Then real life sets in. We find a girl...or a guy..or whoever...

And we drift on down the river of life, having kids and working dead end jobs for the powerful, waiting for the day we DO go out to sea and join our ancestors at the mouth of the river. Life has always been this way. The main comfort is those same powerful ones meet the same fate. 

At the end of Rossetti's hymn, a question is asked: "What do I give him, poor as I am?" What can we really provide as proof of our revolt against the power.

We give him, and each other, our hearts. It is all we have. 


Topic-Dave Raider

Lyle Lovett Lyric: Kemosabe, kiss my ass- is from "I've Got a Boat"

Pic-Nina Nixon

Pic guesses: Black swan, Firefly,


  1. No hurry to go out to sea, but I do agree all we truly have to give is our heart or ourselves

  2. This made me ponder, for sure. I do agree, we give our hearts.


  3. Sometimes we are powerless to the chaos around us, aren't we? Except me - I have my Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator at the ready when the going gets tough. 8 points, Earthling!

    - Marvin Martian

  4. I keep saying love not fear....beautifully written piece Christopher :) And I love the boys choir up there, I have been to King's College at Cambridge...but I sat at Evensong in Oxford and that was quite an experience...very uplifting. These chapels hold old wisdom...wisdom I hope comes to the surface during our next election. ~Christine

    1. Evensong is a wonderful experience. We need the wisdom more than ever.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this. All too true, we can only give our heart which is pretty much ourselves.

  6. I prefer a ship when I go out to sea, a Viking ship would be cool.

  7. So much for looking for that silver lining. Then again you're the realist Chris! LOL!

  8. Yep. I keep my hopes down and I'm rarely disappointed.

  9. As bleak as things -̶m̶a̶y̶ ̶s̶e̶e̶m̶-̶ really are, I have never been more optimistic. While I am in no particular hurry to cross that river, there is comfort in knowing, it will be the first one I do not have to fear not being able to swim.

  10. So very beautiful. This really is one of my very favorite Christmas pieces and thanks so much for including the video. Exquisite!

  11. Great post. And I love, love, love that comic! ha ha!

  12. This was an exceptional piece Chris..Perfect for this time of year