Sorry about the break in continuity of the twelve days of Christmas. I have underestimated the difficulty of having no internet connection available where I am living, and overestimated my willingness to drive all over to find someplace both open and quiet when the library, my usual hot spot, is closed. I assure you that a good time was had by all twelve days, and aside from some mud dragged in by the milkmaid’s cows, my abode looks pretty good.
I have been trying this morning to haul myself back into awareness of current events, and it makes me feel like I am being flung about like a loose washing machine basket during the spin cycle. The violence in the world is not new, nor is the violence of the rhetoric. Though there’s a wideness in God’s mercy, as the hymn says, there is also a great hardness in humankind. I am sure that all times have been perilous times, but these are my times, the ones I am given to notice, to change, to endure.
Not without help, of course. From T.S. Eliot, via actor Edward Petherbridge, comes an Epiphany gift for us all. I have read and heard this poem many times over the years, and am always moved to tears by its humanity.
Giotto di Bondone captured something wonderful in the faces in his painting of the adoration of the Magi. There is deep humanity and strength in Mary’s solemn gaze, quietness in Joseph’s contemplation (or contemplative nap). The youngest mage seems to wonder what to do next. The camel-handler? Here he is, just a few feet from the Son of God, and he’s got this pesky camel to manage. And ain’t that just like us?
Here is my Epiphany blessing for us all: May we be wise enough to know whom to adore, and may our camels behave.