She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
"I thought you'd never say hello" she said
"You look like the silent type"
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you
Tangled up in blue
It is so easy to find yourself tangled up in blue at this time of year. Scars reveal themselves more vividly. Heartmemories lap up on the shore again. Reflections, both lovely and not so, take a front seat in one's thoughts. And we trudge on searching for reason, searching for refuge, searching for a spot in Avalon.
I love Christmas. I'm one of those people who really loves the whole season......well, except New Years Eve. I could live without that night. That's when I seem to get tangled up in blue. But Christmas and the weeks leading up to it? Love it all.
It's probably a good thing that I love this season.... the traditions and the meaning because let me tell you, working in the frontlines at this time of year with individuals and families who live hand to mouth, who are on the other side of coping is always heartwrenching. It's the time of year when one relies on one's colleagues to share the feelings more than any other time, because everyone is feeling it. You'd have to be a robot not to.
But we do the best we can...........searching out community help in any way we can, helping to problem solve, offering a shoulder to lean and cry on. And while we are doing that, we hear about the quiet elves in the community who are helping to shoulder the burdens of the families in need......of the homeless and directionless.......of the down and out human beings who because of shit luck have ended up on the other side of your desk.
The elves.............doing God's work, untangling the blue.....
- A small congregation from a community church who deliver sandwiches once a week throughout the year to people living in rooming houses have invited everyone to a dinner and celebration on Monday night. Each person who takes part will be given bag of essentials and extras to take home.....goods they can't afford to buy. These bags of essentials are full of donations from businesses in the community.....who quietly give without any recognition.
- Another church downtown is hosting a dinner Christmas party for a group of families who wouldn't otherwise be able to organize their own celebrations because they are too busy just making ends meet, just putting food on the table one day at a time. The children will be front and centre.......and they will all forget for a short magical evening.
- Feed Our Families campaign just kick started this week..........the local CBC radio station leads the way to raise enough money for 1, 500 needy families in the area to have all the fixings for Christmas dinner.
- Donations are pouring in to the Community Kitchen.........turkeys and trimmings.........and they will have more volunteers to serve on Christmas Day than they know what to do with.
- The Sally Ann is out ringing the familiar bells........all the money going to help out those in need.
There are some elves who take it upon themselves to put baskets together to leave anonymously on neighbours doorsteps......It's all wonderful..........
I wonder, though.........how can we be there for the ones who aren't poor financially? How can we be with the ones who have for some reason drained their spiritual resources? They too are very much tangled up in blue.....struggling through dark nights, looking for sleep which won't come.....trying to find calm............??
No words.......just an invite to sit under the streetlights in peace. That's all. We just need to be with them listening to silent night.
ps. wanna know a secret, or maybe you already know this? Helping someone untangle their blue, always helps untangle your own.......