Friday, September 30

Sunday, December 24

On the Eve. I’ve been thinking about those ghosts that visit Scrooge tonight. I wonder why more stories haven’t taken advantage of visiting ghosts to move the plot along- well, there is Hamlet, anyway.
But the visiting ghosts are central to the Christmas Story. Scrooge is transformed by his dreams. Sigmund understood how transformative dreams could be, if they were evaluated properly, but rarely are dreams central to the story, and if they are, they must be disguised as magic.
That makes a full circle, innit?
Well, be that as it may, masses of people are preparing themselves for god knows what sort of transformation today. I mean, they do know what they want to feel, and they know how they are supposed to get to the point of feeling it, and most of them succeed. And that’s a good thing.
So the starry-eyed young woman lights a Christmas candle, and we imagine that she’s seeing it as she saw it when she was a child, before she was allowed to light a candle herself, when the lighting of candles signified- something- that no one could really explain. It was magical.
And the caption reads- “How Shall We PAY For Recovery?” which is also a big tradition in America. In other words, who is providing that candle and that warm home and the pleasant surroundings that allow you to get all starry-eyed? Not to harsh your vibe or anything.
Well, here’s what happens when that vibe gets harshed I suppose. A mystery girl, a young woman, checks into a small Ohio town. Nobody knows her name. The next day, Christmas Eve, she leaves the boarding house and steps in front of a train. In the ensuing upwelling of sympathy, the townsfolk provide for the sad young thing when they are unable to learn anything of her name or origins. Only in later years are the connections made- it was just another depression story of desperation.
You don’t have to be all solemn tonight if you don’t want to be. For 30 cents you could enjoy some of the best comedy going in 1933. I’m sure I would have been there- with a hot date and hip flask, if possible.
I imagine the thousands- no, millions- of cards like this on mantles and on tables and stuck into dresser mirror frames in Christian homes world wide. Now that I’m old, I imagine how this magic appears to someone from another culture. They’ve been fairly tolerant of Christians, you’ll have to admit, but that tolerance might be a little forced. The lamb.
Here’s a signifier that’s a lot more ancient than the virgin birth thing- well, maybe. If you’re a man and you see a tall rock, you must climb it. There is nothing like the feeling you get up there!

there’s room at the top, here.


Leave a Reply to Robert Ulrich Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.