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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lovelight: If Only in My Dreams

If Only in My Dreams, by William S. Phillips

When I was a kid, didn't seem like all the Christmas hoo-rah started so early - like there was a breather after Thanksgiving; but nowadays, all the radio stations start playing Christmas music 24/7 the day after.  There are some songs that when they come on the radio, I have to stop what I'm doing and go turn it off.  Cowboys don't cry, you know. 

Or so they say.

Many of you are making plans now for a holiday trip to see the folks; or for a special evening at home, or out on the town, with the one you love.  Whatever your plan may be, no doubt it involves someone near and dear to your heart, without whom . . . well, it just wouldn't be Christmas at all, would it?

All well and good.  Just remember while you are making those happy plans to whisper a little "thank you" to God or whatever you believe runs the universe.  An attitude of gratitude is always becoming.

Because there's nothing guaranteed in this mortal life, nothing at all.  Of course, you think, if you stop to think about it at all, of course I'm going home for Christmas, why ever not?  Or, of course my man and I will have a lovely time together on Christmas Eve, I've got it all planned out . . . .

But honey, supposing life had taken a very different course.  You remember the story from It's a Wonderful Life, don't you?  Supposing all those nearest to your heart - the ones you just can't live without - simply weren't there in your story any more?

Suppose you had outlived, already, all of your family.  And all of your closest friends.  And your darling husband.  And even the little fuzzy dog.  It could happen, you know.  It has happened to some people. 

In the movie, George finally got back into the right universe; but suppose you were left there on the other side, in the wrong world, the wrong story, the wrong life?  No friendly angel around to awaken you from the nightmare.  Left to grow old alone there.  And no home to go back to at Christmas - or any other time.

Be grateful, always be very very grateful for whatever joy, whatever comfort, whatever love you have in your life, even if it's not all you would have wanted.  (Nobody ever gets it all.)  Because however little or much you have - it's only lent to you for a little while.  One day, it will be gone.  Or you will.

And be sure - now this is the important point, guys - be sure you return the love that's given to you, while you can.  That's why you're here, George.  To make a wonderful difference in somebody else's life.

Picture quality is not great here, but the sound of Karen Carpenter's
exquisite voice comes through crystal clear.


Sebastian said...

Christmas brings to mind happy memories and terrible losses. If we love much, we will hurt much, for hurting is the price of loving. The tender joy of the Nativity put Jesus on the road to Good Friday. The Virgin's joy at the birth of her son would open her to a world of hurt. But despite the hurts, not loving is simply not an option. And so, even with the hurts and the losses, we bless each other, we who are still here on earth, and all the cloud of heavenly witnesses. God bless you Russ.

Russ Manley said...

Love much, hurt much: the price of loving. The powerful mystery, the mysterious power of the Incarnation and the Passion played out in every individual life. Well said, Sebastian - thank you my friend.

Et cum spiritu tuo.

TomS said...

My spirituality moves in more secular directions; nevertheless I appreciate your sentiments expressed here.
This simple soul just tries to live well, not hurt anyone, help whenever possible and whomever possible, and provide an unconditional acceptance of those who may be feeling desolate at this time of year.

I aspire to demonstrate the pure love I receive from my animal companions...an innocence....lacking in ulterior motives....

Thank you for the wonderful photo, poem, and original sentiment Russ. And for me, Karen Carpenter's "Merry Christmas Darling" turns on the tears like nothing else....


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