Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve Observations

Late this afternoon I found myself in Barnes and Noble, looking for a final gift. The secular Christmas carols playing in the store competed with "Genius Loves Company" coming from the adjacent Starbucks. In the current events section Ann Coulter sits peacefully beside Al Franken. "Unfit for Command" is 50% off. Neither the sales clerk at B&N nor the one at Starbucks wished me a "Merry Christmas," but I don't think either meant anything by it.

Walking through the neighborhood as it was getting dark, I lingered outside a church as people entered for the evening service. Through the open door I could hear the choir singing a Christmas hymn. A couple of blocks away I came upon a house with a leaf-bare tree in the front yard decorated with small white lights and a scattering of disco balls hanging from the branches. The full moon was rising above and to the right of the tree. On the ground, in the flower bed behind the tree, a crystal ball reflected the whole image, save for the moon, in miniature.

Earlier this afternoon, I visited with a friend of mine at her Art Gallery, as customers stopped by to examine the paintings and her friends stopped by to exchange Christmas greetings. She told me how lucky she is to live the life she does, doing what she loves, with kind and loving friends and family. I don't think luck played too great a part in all this. She has lived a life of generosity and good will and consciously tries to figure out and do the right thing. She is living the life she has made for herself.

As I write this, my soft, furry, and fluffy cat is on my lap, his front paws draped over my left arm. He occasionally cranes his neck to look at me and meows; I oblige him by rubbing his head. The Adagio un poco mosso from Beethoven's 5th piano concerto is playing on the box. I believe this exemplifies ethereal.

Tomorrow morning, if you look at the sky before dawn, you'll see the five visible planets. You won't have this chance again until 2016.

Horrible things happen in this world and too often those are the things I write about. The world is full of things of beauty and hope, too, and it doesn't take too great an effort to find and appreciate them.

Merry Christmas.
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