Monday, December 28, 2009


I havent had any real desire to blog. I have been immersed in big thoughts though as I prepared, served, provided, given, received, enjoyed, talked, cooked, sorted, entertained, and smiled. It has been a busy week, but lots of time to let the thoughts drift.

  I've been thinking a great deal about the Virgin Mary.  How frightening it must have been........ to give birth in such a filthy place.  Did anyone help her?  Did the woman have anyone around her who brought her warm water and soap to cleanse her body?  Was she afraid, or did she just go into a faith zone so deep and surrendering that she didn't need to feel like she had no control over the events happening inside and outside?  Was Mary quietly compliant or did she kick up a fuss?  Did she belt out a yelp or two when the contractions kicked in?  And when Jesus was born, was he really the perfect baby................."no crying he made.......?"  Or, was he fussy at first and needed constant comfort?  How long were they in that barn??  Why couldn't Joseph take them to his family's home?  Didn't they live in Bethlehem?  Why is Jesus called "Jesus of Nazareth" if he was born in Bethlehem? 

Mary's faith and stoicism just seems so amazing to me.  Humbling, as I recognize her vulnerability as I try to conjure up a more realistic picture in my head of how this story unfolded.  Or maybe I've got it wrong.  Maybe I should just leave be, and accept the story at face value? 

 I'm wrestling with my ability to believe it all.  I know the whole story didn't happen within a short time frame, and the more I delved into various sites to feed my thoughts, the more I didn't really want to learn the underpinning details scholars and religious zealots have spent their entire lives combing through.  I know this sounds really flaky, but it is the same feeling I had (mulitplied by 100) when I went on a "Sound of Music" tour in Saltzburg years ago and learned how they filmed the movie and where etc.  I learned that the church Maria was married in wasn't even in the same village as the crypt scene...... the convent was a different locale.  I learned TOO many details about the filming of the Sound of Music that all semblance of magic was lifted right out my grasp.  I think this could easily happen to me if I dissect the story of the birth of Christ.

Sometimes its much more difficult to retain a leap of faith when too many details re-adjust the lens you are looking through.  But it right to live inside an illusion?  Aren't illusions really vehicles for impure thoughts?  Don't illusions mess with any ability to reach a place of vulnerable humility.......a place where one welcomed by a place of rest? You let go of everything, Or maybe illusions help buffer the black and whiteness of facts so that you can take a leap? 

SEE!  I'm all over the map with my thoughts......... but I keep coming back to Mary, wondering how she managed.  What a brave, brave woman.  I tried to picture myself in the same situation....not that I've got some vision of grandeur happening in my head and think I'm that worthy, but as a woman living in that time.   What it would feel like to be in a place so unfamiliar, so unclean........ stripped of dignity in the throes of giving birth, surrounded by animals, and completely unaware of what to expect?

Then, I think of the light.  The protective encouraging light of candles, stars, and angels.......... the glowing light of faith Mary possessed, eternally burning bright and I realize..... one can do anything if one deeply feels loved.

You know, I would like to go to Bethlehem.  I would like to visit all of the Christian holy places....... I would like to walk from Jeruselem to Bethlehem........ I would like to see Nazareth.  I want to walk through the gardens of Gethsemane where she is buried, where Jesus prayed, and quietly listen to the ancient stories.  I don't know what I want to hear...... I don't know if there are any echos left for me to hear.  maybe. maybe not. I'll never know unless I go.


Anonymous said...

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

I picture you like Anne of Green Gables when you get to heaven.
God Bless

awareness said...

Mavis! I'm chuffed at the thought! What an honour it would be to be like Anne in heaven. Do you think they have a lake there called Shining Waters? Will they serve raspberry cordial? I will have to work on my colouring my hair and on the questions I intend to pose. Great fun!

LL Cool Joe said...

What a great post! Sorry I just popped over here from Gypsy's blog.

The story of the birth of Jesus is so well known that sometimes we forget to actually take in the reality of the situation, and this post and your feelings about Mary have made me think much more deeply about amazing day. Thanks.

awareness said...

Joe...Welcome. I've seen your comments on Gypsy's blog. Thank you for dropping by. I don't know whether its a good thing or a bad thing to think too deeply about the story because once I start dipping into it, I begin to question it even more. The date of the birth is random, the Wisemen took perhaps 2 years to get to see Jesus, etc.....
Then again, the more I delved into my questions, the more I see it as an allegory. Then, I want to learn the lessons attached to it.

Michael Althouse said...

Hi Dana!

I haven't been too active visiting blogs lately and, quite frankly, I still don't have time to - but I am feeling obligated to a few of my blog friends to acknowledge the importance of their presence in my life. And you, my dear, are absolutely among them.

Here's to a wonderful 2010 filled with peace, love and happiness!


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Perhaps going there would not be such a good thing. Maybe it would be like your trip to Salzburg. On the other hand, maybe it would be incredibly illuminating.
I think this is the first time I've ever read such a humanizing description of the Birth of Jesus....A Lovely post, Dama.

Why do you suppose they changed the facts on the date of his birth and such? Why not tell the story as it really happened?

An aside: The Trapp Family came to my High School and gave a concert waaaaay back. Yes, Maria and the children. I think it was 1944 or1945 or 1946....I'm not sure, but the children were in their 'outfits' and Maria was in hers! Maria looked nothing like Julie Andrews, but you know that. LOL!

A Very Very Happy New Year, My Dear, to you and yours. May 2010 be a stekkar year filled with Good Health and Much Happiness for all those that you love and care about and esoecially, for you, my dear.

awareness said...

Mike...thank you. :) It's good to see you here. Happy New Year to you my friend.......

Naomi.... I don't know why Dec. 25th was chosen except that it may be tied to the winter solstice. I'm glad you enjoyed my ramblings. I had an email from a friend wishing me a Merry Christmas. His wording intrigued me... referring to it as a season when God becomes one of us. It made me wonder about Mary as a woman and not an untouchable icon. She was a human being. From there, I just tried to imagine what it could've been like.
Happy New Year to you my friend. May you continue to be surrounded by your friends and family for happy luncheons and birthday celebrations. Take care.

sherry ♥ lee said...

I was thinking about this myself at Christmas -- was the birth as immaculate and the conception??

awareness said...

sherry... gee, i don't know....... i just assumed she gave birth like we all do. maybe not.