An English In Kentucky


















Tuesday December 25th 2012    Tim Candler

    A quick perusal of internet links produces a wet mop of sentiment associated with this particular day in the calendar.  Tempted to call it a flowering of Lotos and we are mariners suddenly in an altered state that is socially insisted upon.  But such a poetic rationalization by the 1st Baron Tennyson might void the pleasant sensation of curling toes that can sometimes accompany a most rewarding curl of the lip following a fifteenth or twentieth "have a 'blessed' and 'safe' new year."  Nor am I certain what happened to turn me so much like King Herod for whom a truer blessing might have been to have increased the age range and to have included all of Galilee in his pogrom, that way the Savior might have been given to the world somewhere on an island a great deal closer to the equator.  I could trace this sourness through possible incarnations starting with the obvious excuse others might make on my behalf, that it belongs to being born with sociopathic or Republican tendency which begins its journey by taking no joy whatsoever from the idea of anyone having fun.  Which suggests a more secure calling for me might have been that of Trappist Monk, until I realize the Rule of Saint Benedict was not "Silence" rather it was more like "the avoidance of unnecessary speech."  A something I am clearly incapable of.

     But I do remember, many years ago, being a little south of Jerusalem on a very cold day that contained a suggestion of sleet.  I forget the name of the road, but I have to think it was called Manger Road because it ran  near The Church of the Nativity, and I could hardly move for bloody pilgrims some of who were singing merrily and all of whom appeared to be horribly sober,  which caused me to think that it must have been around Christmas Day.  They were dressed warm, and I guess they were blissful in that rosy cheeked and overly enthusiastic manner that disallows alms giving.  I had no coat and was trying to get a ride south where I'd been told I could find work that did not first require a work permit.  Those of course where the bad olds days, long before the year of 1977 when Ray Davies penned the seminal work "Father Christmas, give me your money..."  A verse from which I still draw  "Comfort and Joy" in sufficient mass to consider the song a part of a traditional observance of this fourth day after Winter Solstice, and have sent the odd email to the Pope in the glorious hope that one day Ray Davies might be considered for Sainthood. Replies so far have been polite and in English, so I reckon there's a chance.

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