Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I accept: Words and Music by Kat Magendie

"All I see with Christmas is just One More Thing I have to do," I say to my husband. He looks almost wounded, as if I'd struck him. For, after all, the holidays from Thanksgiving to Christmas have always been my favorite time of the year and I've always reveled in it. Giddy and happy.

I take the lights from the box and unravel them, a scowl squinching my face into folds of ugliness. I've always put the lights on the tree - for years, even before Roger. It's just become "my thing," and I do it because I want to. Until now.

Roger says, "Why don't you do that later?"

I spit out, "Later? When later? It's now or never."

He walks away. I begin throwing lights on the tree. But then I remember I haven't checked to make sure they will light. I plug in. Nothing. I tear the lights from the tree in a fury. I plug in another string. Nothing. Another. Nothing. No lights are working. The outlet is malfuctioned. Stomping into the little log house, I growl, "Lights. Won't. Work. That's. Just. Great." I feel just like I'm on the Fa la la la Lifetime Christmas Specials - the one where the woman is pissed off at everyone and is disallusioned and sad and angry and then something happens to make her Feel the Spirit of Christmas (see my previous Yog Post below somewhere). Except this is real life. This isn't the movies.

I come to my computer and splot my butt down into my chair and see an email from someone whom I do now know all that well. My first thought is, "Oh geez. Not another chain letter or joke or cartoon or..." I open the email and begin's religious in nature, but the very cadence of it begins to relax me. I all of a sudden do not care that I am no longer "religious." I suddenly do not care that I do not know what I believe. It is all about the words, the melody of them, the beauty, the old remembrance of what I have left behind not by design but by some force within myself that I do not understand (anymore than I really ever understood the religions).

I feel the rush of tears, and hold them back, as I have done for as long as I remember. What? Strong me cry? Ha! About that time, Roger puts on a holiday cd by Jim Brickman, with beautiful piano music. The music enters me and drifts languidly through my bloodstream, mixing with the beautiful words I've just read. I get up, walk into my living room, and pick up a gift my Louisiana friend has sent me -- a nativity scene. When did I stop believing? The nativity scene is lovely, heartbreaking. I place the scene gently down, beside my bed, as if a talisman for my coming sleep.

A calm overcomes me. I let it. I walk to Roger and give him a hug, say, "Sorry I'm a big grump."

He smiles, says, "I know you're really tired right now."

I say, "I'll string those lights tomorrow." He nods.

The words. The music. A simple gift from a friend. An understanding husband. All conspired to take away my angst and stress. Gifts come unexpectedly. Gifts that one can accept or turn away. I accept, with gratitude.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Isn't it funny how the good spirit will invade, even against your strongest fortress sometimes? :) Ah, it gives one hope in bigger things than us. Words & music & simple reminders. Glad Daddy Christmas broke down your door.

Anonymous said...

Words and music are powerful tools. I have learned first hand this year about this. People listen even if they don't want to.

kat magendie said...

And Rog put on the lights for me - Smiling _ I broke a years and years and years tradition of putting on the lights! ha! And it felt okay...yes.... *laughing*

Patresa Hartman said...

see, what's cool about that is that even when you are a grump, you are still open. grumps who are closed don't let anything in enough to touch them or make them see things differently.

open people are my favorites. i'm glad you're feeling the spirit, ms. kat.

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