“It’s coming on Christmas, They’re cuttin’ down trees, They’re putting up reindeer, And singing songs of joy and peace”, are lyrics from 1971, Joni Mitchell’s famous song “River“. It’s the third track on the second side of her even more famous album Blue. The picture above shows my record, an original and constant companion, as well as the only gift (so far) I’ve received this year. Despite the seemingly isolation, Christmas still comforts me.
I am not blue
The song isn’t really a “Christmas” song, but it’s a favorite of mine at this time of year. The song, as well as the entire album, is timeless. Because it’s about infatuation, lovers lost, and “looking for something”, and “hidin’ behind bottles in dark cafes”.
I can’t think of any other thing – not a person, place, record, book, or movie – that captures me so completely. Yet, I’m not typically a blue or moody person. Even though it might be a facade, the joy and peace of Christmas comforts me.
The war on Christmas
Christmas has never defined the great divide so much as now in 2019. Notwithstanding the previous “war on Christmas” touted by Bill O’Reilly. [formally of FOX network television.]
So here I sit, in my own “cafe” listening to Joni’s timeless album, as it almost snows (climate change!!!), drinking, smiling, and writing, while the Denver Broncos (my team) get whipped without mercy in a snowstorm by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Oh my … the never ending wars.
What I love
is the music, the lights, the wish for joy and peace. The wish for “good will towards men”.
WHAT! MEN!, OMG! What about us? The not-white men who lack wealth and power?
The picture above represents my life. Then and now, which is what Christmas celebrates – the then and now. Of course depending upon one’s interpretation.
Represented is just one gift (from my forever brother). Also represented is my failed bookstore. The Oregon coast, another failure. My father’s faith and generosity, a constant. And my love of wood, nature, art, light and music.
Christmas, I say, regardless, is a time for “joy and peace”.
Joni Mitchell is still alive, despite her despair, and chain smoking sixty cigarettes a day. Is she happy? Was/is her life one of peace and joy? Obviously not … and yet, she brings joy, happiness, and peace to me. And millions of others. So who is to say what is what and why?
Jesus Christ, the son of God? Okay, sure, if that works for you.
But maybe Christmas depresses you. Because of all the faux (fake) joy and happiness. Who decides? You? Your family? Or others? What you see on TV and social media?
Yes, if I focus on the folly of happiness, joy, family, gifts, presents, gratitude, eternal life … maybe that is depressing. But maybe I’ll take that, because it comes with the music, light, and goodwill.
What Christmas is
I’ll take. Christmas comforts me.