Ah, there's nothing like the holidays to make one philosophical regarding the nature of religion. The chill of the Winter's Night while the penitent walks barefooted on the abbey stones (Abbey Stones! That's my FAVOURITE album by The Rolling Merseys). I personally love the long nights. But then I am part vampire. Buried in unconsecrated ground, night time has ALWAYS been the right time for me. Contemplative. Away from the daylight madness of money minded men. So it seems this time of year brings all faiths together in a cacophony of conflicted goodwill. All, I think, originally based on a fear of the dark and cold.
The Pagan Winter Solstice is flooded with an intense display of Christmas Lights, mostly on tract houses. G.E. loves the month of December. I believe a person can be extremely religious without being a fanatic. A fanatic at best. A fraud at worst. Televangelists fall into this group. Benny Un-Hinnged and Paul Couch Potato Head. Why these folks haven't been driven into the sea off Costa Mesa is beyond me, except for the obvious...they have SO MUCH MONEY given by YOU, DEAR SAINTS! We are buying our way into Heaven, which is NOW dear saints, not later. Later Heaven is for YOU, our patrons. Now Heaven is for us. Like my watch? My clothes? Keep calling, keep pledging. We need that satellite station over Ghana. Heaven on Earth for Us now. Heaven in Heaven for You later. 40 phone lines available.
My hair is longer today than probably anytime in my follicle filled life. People who see me ask how long am I going to let it grow. Replies include that it is for job reasons. I am moonlighting to play Jesus in your front lawn manger. "But the Christ Child is just a baby," most reply. Well, not in my version. Like Scorsese, my Messiah avoids crucifixion, marries late in life after wild bachelor adventures, follows the Northern Star, moves to suburbia, gets out of public life. Keeps miracles minor, or at least low key. Doesn't get out as much. Too old for strenuous exercise.
Misses the Philistine Hurling. Fifty yards from the Temple. Pity. Back and hernia problems. Otherwise, there would be less televangelists.
Fed up to here with the disciples. Always re-writing gospels to give themselves a bigger part in the story. It's hard to have friends when you are the Light. Attracts moths, makes one threadbare. Should have Googled Judas before letting him sell my ideas. And PETER! Quit with the re-invention. Enough with this I PAID ALL THE RENT crap. Who had his own place and invited the poor pilgrim kicked out by his parents to share the living room sofa? GET REAL. Stop being the Pope. There's a reason why some are left on the Road to Calvary. Real memory. It's like working with Replicants. Jeez! Cheese Louise! No wonder HE gave up the ministry.
Jesus has left the building. That's why the Account Executives and General Managers he has working in "His Name" are so oily. No quality filters. If you've failed at every profession, preaching is always available. Why do so many people in prison find this as an option? Or else Law. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.
But enough sarcasm. Let us consider the positive aspects of the cloistered life. As I said, I do cherish the contemplative channels of the clerics. Shall we retire to the library? Alexandrian, Vatican or the one Casanova cared for in later years. It doesn't matter. These are all places of worship. I think I miss book stores more than Sunday school.
Well, when the annointing is more the annoying...don't lose Faith, Dear Saints. Also don't lose your sense of Touch. And For God's Sake, don't lose your sense of Humour. Remember the Motto: Jehovah's Wit, This Is. Constant Occupation: Jester to the Divine. The Gods may be two-faced. But my favourite mask is comedy.
A Smile and a Song to you all. Best Wishes for this Time of the Season! And now, on to the next bit :)