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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

As someone whoís three and a half months shy of turning sixty, I donít believe the same things I believed when I was a twelve-year-old altar boy at St. Roseís. I donít claim any moral or intellectual superiority because of it. Itís just that what I believe now isnít the same as what I believed then. Itís not evolution; itís just change. (Or maybe it is evolution. I havenít really decided and donít necessarily think itís a categorization I want to make.)

Thank goodness (or Whoever) I can still celebrate Christmas with a clear conscience. I appreciate the religious training I had as a child, and Iím grateful for the holiday, even though itís a little different for me now than it was then. I can still sing (if I could sing, that is) the traditional carols, with a total lack of irony. In fact, I enjoy Christmas music even more now, because I can throw my whole artistic soul into songs about Jesus or Santa, as much as I enjoy singing ďO CanadaĒ or ďOkie from Muskogee,Ē even though Iím neither a Canadian nor an Okie.

20 December 2008

Burnished clouds.

So I celebrate the secular side of Christmas without feeling like a hypocrite, and I honor those who observe the religious side with an open heart. There are things about organized religion in general (and some branches of it in particular) that I donít like, but I would never turn away from a holiday that has become a tribute to love and family and sharing. If it werenít so hard to live up to, every day would be like that.

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