“Gets Me Every Year”


[Limestone Mine, Louisville, KY]

Went to a badly acted, poorly-written play Friday night yet because its themes—climate change and our broken political system — were so much what needs to be said and explored and talked about, the play’s essential goodness, its gem-like imperative to be aired shone through: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Until a couple of days ago, Christmas had seemed mostly dark this year. Devastating headlines, dear friends facing hard, hard times, day after day of no sun/lots of rain (what climate change looks like in the Northeast) had made me blue. Had made me Christmas spiritless. Had made me feel like I was going through the motions. Had made me wonder: why bother?

But then, Sunday morning at my Quaker meeting’s Christmas pageant, when we all sang “Silent Night” to a real, live baby, I welled up. (This year’s baby has shining, golden hair—lots of it—so really, really did “radiantly beam”!) That sweet and gentle moment when over a hundred people of all ages quietly sang together in tribute to this new, precious life among us? It gets me every year!

My tears opened me to the words of another carol we sang that morning: “The hopes and fears of all the years are meet in thee, tonight.” Yes!  I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Thorton Wilder’s Our Town: “It’s like what one of those European fellas said: ‘Every child born into the world is nature’s attempt to make a perfect human being.’ “ 

That’s what we celebrate. “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” Hope. Our collective hope for peace, for justice, for “The Great Turning.” And our collective faith, despite the overwhelming and ubiquitous darkness, that Way will open and the Light will shine forth.


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  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hello, there, Patricia, my dearest and precious Christian white sisterfriend! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you so, so very profusely for this very inspirational and magnificent blog post article of yours, as well as your other brilliant and astute ones, sister! I loved how you were still able to draw out a great perspective from this badly acted, poorly-written play as it still somehow despite of that was able to boldly proclaim how urgently important it is to heed the vital concerns of troubling climate change and our broken political system. Somehow this grand theme was indeed able to shine through-I am so, so very glad of this, sisterfriend!

    I have had such wondrously wonderful joy this Christmas. I feel so incredibly and amazingly blessed, and I think of the observation of our Dearest and Darling Jesus’ birth coming up, and the full glorious anticipation of this observation with the exciting and marvelous Advent season. We love our Jesus so, so very much, and what a Great Act of Love of our Jesus coming to our Earth for each and every one of us! I love this, and we love our Jesus so, so very much!!!!!! Our Great and Loving God Spirit is just so, so very wonderful and our Greatest Blessing!!!!!! I truly feel and have the Christmas spirit, or the Thanksmas spirit, too, as I have just recently heard of this wonderful word over the Thanksgiving holiday, sister! I am so, so very incredibly and amazingly blessed to have my dearest and darling white women sisterfriends who are my very heart, and who I love and cherish so, so very much, and they are my very family! You, too, are my great blessing, sisterfriend, Patricia! The very gift and blessing of you, Patricia, and your very inspiring and spectacular blog post website, and the sheer joy I have reading your very fine and excellent blog post articles, and responding to your articles, is such an immense and immeasurable blessing and joy to me, Sister!!!!!! Sister, you are also an eternal blessing to all of your other very grateful and appreciative readers!!!!! I have also the eternal blessing of my splendid church here where I live in Iowa City, Iowa, my Faith United Church of Christ!!!!! What a great church this is, and they all for always are my church friendsfamily!!!!!!! I feel just so absolutely and incredibly blessed, sister!!!!!! Also, I am a member of many, many 12-Step programs as a recovering and a healing person, and I love and cherish the numerous friends I have from my multiple 12-Step programs and the fantastic meetings!!!!!!! I am just so very blessed, and I feel so eternally grateful, Patricia!!!!!!

    Although I have such joy in my heart for Advent and Christmas, and my spirits and mood are really good, I feel kind of short of time for this, and I feel as if I am having trouble getting everything done for Advent and Christmas. Today is Decemeber 17th and I have still not done not even one Christmas card! I have got to get going and get moving on this, sisterfriend!!!!!!! (SMILE!!!!!!) I feel as if I don’t have enough time and enough energy to be able to get everything done, sister!!!!!!! I still do feel such sheer joy and blessings at this time, however!!!!!! I am just so thrilled and loved-I have more than one invitation for where to go for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner, so I have the blessed and happy problem of choosing where I will go!!!!!!

    I love the story of your wondrously wonderful Quaker meeting’s Christmas pageant, Sister!!!!! It sounds like it was just so grand, cool, and special!!!!! The baby in the role of baby Jesus sounds like the baby was just so beautiful and lovely, and with its blonde hair looking so golden and radiant!!!!!! I love how you said Christmas is about hope and our collective faith as Jesus’ people!!!!! Your words here, Patricia, are just so, so very gracious and beautiful, lovely, and eloquent, sisterfriend!!!!!!!

    Patricia, I thank-you for always, and your dearest husband, the rest of your dearest and darling family, and all of the pure in heart and marvelous people at your very fine and excellent, spiritually-minded Quaker meeting for for always thinking of me and praying for me-I can for certain feel all of your thoughts and prayers for me, and I love so, so very much and cherish all of you and for sure for always keep each and every one of you in my heart, and in my heart, spirit, and love in my heartfelt. loving, and caring daily thoughts and prayers!!!!!! May each and every one of you have such a very nice, special, and a very blessed Wednesday, and may all of your days be so especially blessed, Patricia!!!!! And a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year to you and yours, Patricia, and to each and every one of you for always, my dearest and precious Christian white sisterfriend who you are so, so very much as a very grand and superbly super white anti-racist and ally in your allyship and activism in solidarity!!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always,

    Your Christian lesbian black sisterfriend in solidarity, Sherry Gordon

  2. I remember when “it” got me- I was sitting next to Al Starr during the pageant- when the lambs and sheep came crawling in…..Al turned to me, with tears, and seeing my tears: “it got you, too”.
    From then on, we were friends. He showed us how he lived. We had Men’s Group meetings at his house. We all thought he could outlast that disease.
    Hazel came to Meetings.
    So I remember Al at each pageant.

    peace, David

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