Friday, December 05, 2008

Like Angels

Suddenly, a choir. Singing Deck the Halls. Outside the dark living room window. And sistas, I mean, singing so beautifully. A choir that would have made Clement Bethel and Pauline Glasby proud. I would have loved any carolers, the raw-boned, hollering kind I would have gratefully welcomed in these hard times. Any group of folks generous of spirit so, creative and cooperative and connected so, having spirit enough to gather themselves together and go sing-up Christmas for strangers, I have to love them. Especially now, when money is tight, and fundamentalism is dividing the neighbourhoods with hatred, and all are on guard against violent crime. We opened the door, lit a torch, gave a donation. They were all wearing Santa hats. They sounded like a choir out of Dickens. Perfect harmonies, soaring tenors. Our son asked, "Are they singing for us?" Yes, they were singing for us. We were the only household on the street that opened the door, not one of the neighbours turned on their lights, come out to receive this rare gift of a classical Christmas choir on the doorstep, none came out to give to a Christmas fund for the poor, none were inspired to take some enjoyment, sing along, offer a cup of tea... Fear will do this to people. As for me, I thought it was a cosmic moment, a sign and a wonder, a message from the World of Spirit. Saying quite literally, go ahead and deck the halls, try Be Happy, celebrate, give. Do this to actively resist the fear, to transform it into something like good living. Then, the choir was gone, quick as a vision, leaving us feeling a litle stunned, a little altered. That was two nights ago, and I am still wondering about the choir. Who were they, what church did they say they belonged to? I cannot remember, and I want to. I want to invite them to return and sing for us again on Solstice night. Strange, the way they appeared and disappeared so suddenly, like angels...

10 comments:

Liz Jamieson said...

Reading your description of events where you used words like 'Dickens', 'carolers' and 'Christmas', and mentioned the lighting of a torch, I envisioned snowflakes falling and freezing cold temperatures like a scene from Christmas card. Just shows how brainwashed we all become. Christmas has absolutely nothing to do with snow.

Lynn Sweeting said...

Well, er, ok, thanks for reading and commenting Liz, I think. Evoking snow wasn't my intent, but I make no apologies for referencing Dickens in a piece about Christmas carolers. Being a Bahamian I can rightfully claim some British heritage, and so, again, make no apologies for loving the Dickens book "A Christmas Carol" at this time of year, no matter the air temperature. Merry Christmas, and God bless us, every one!

Christine said...

I have just discovered your blog and am loving it. Hitherto I knew next to nothing about the Bahamas.
Christine Watkins www.honeysuckledirection.org

Lynn Sweeting said...

Christine, thanks very much. Bright blessings to you.

Liz Jamieson said...

I meant I had become brain-washed not you!

Lynn Sweeting said...

Hey Liz, I see! Misunderstandings are easy in this place called the internet. Thanks for clarifying. And hey, don't feel bad about the brainwashing thing. Even we islanders feel more holiday spirit if the temperatures plunge into the sixties in time for Christmas. Bright blessings!

Gabriela said...

Hello Lynn:
I've just discovered your blog while translating into Spanish some roundup post for Global Voices Online... and I love what I've read so far. I'll keep on reading your earlier posts.
As a Peruvian, I've always had Christmas in summer time. One of my dreams is to have at least one white Christmas. That's the image I have of the holidays. In Lima, it's kind of ironic to see Santas walking by all covered with clothes and suffering from hot temperatures.
This beautiful choir you described for us sounds wonderful. Christmas caroling is not a tradition around, so that's another thing I'll like to see at least once.
From Peru, a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

This was a great excerpt of something brilliant, I suspect? However I am confused as to the venue. Where were they singing--here in The Bahamas? If they were, fear would have me groping into dark rooms as I would be pondering as to why carolers were only singing in the front of my doors. is it a ruse? Perhaps they want to murder me? This is the Bahamas (not alluding to anything sinister) and you just dont see carolers at doors singing 'Deck the halls'...

Lynn Sweeting said...

Hello Anonymous, thanks for reading. This piece is an excerpt of the Womanish Words blog, that's it. And yes, the venue was our front door step in Nassau. No, it wasn't a ruse, it was real, good-hearted, generous, loving, celebratory Bahamian folk, the kind whom, if we look for, we can see. I am grateful to know so many fabulous Bahamian people who are exactly like this, full of spirit and vision, generosity and love, hopefulness and revolutionary creativity. I am choosing to see them, choosing to receive them and to be received by them. I am choosing to reject the tired old lies that say we Bahamians are all either good servants or good criminals. I am choosing to anticipate love and kindness from my people, renewal and regeneration, emergence, transformation and new beginnings. I am choosing to believe that when a singing choir suddenly appears at the dark door bringing light, it is no trick, it is truly just a gift of light in a place where gifts of light are to be anticipated and experienced in abundance. I wrote the piece to say, apparantly Nassau IS a place were we see carolers at doors sing Deck the Halls... I believe that as a womanish writer its my job to re-write the story of who I am, as a woman, as a poet and as a Bahamian, because then I/we can begin to live with less limiting fear and more abundance, more community, more wholeness, more bravery and more joy...
in hope.

Lynn Sweeting said...

Thank you Gabriella for reading. I love the work that Global Voices online is doing to gather the words and stories of The People and am always inspired and encouraged to be included.
bright blessings!

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