It’s that time of year again, when all the world begins turning green — and I’m not talking about how close spring is to officially starting. Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day; and, as you have one red-haired cailín on hand here with a severe case of Celtophilia, and another lass willing to go along with her — well, here we are again. We don’t quite have shamrocks tucked behind our ears, and we won’t be swilling green-dyed beer anytime soon, Second Life or Real Life. (Green beer’s an Americanism, anyways, and barbarous at the best of times.) That doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with green stylin’.
Turn the page for the verdant details.
Bienvenue sur le Rue Bourbon, dans le ville de La Nouvelle-Orléans! At this time of year, the biggest parties of the world are held in Mobile, Rio de Janiero, the Caribbean islands, and especially to American minds, in New Orleans, where Mardi Gras provides the traditional closeout to the church calendar season of Epiphany. Jem and I took it a little farther than short tops and tons of beads this year; it looks like we should be on a float for one of the famous Crewes!
And no, Peter Minuet, we won’t flash you our boobs for beads. (Laughing)
Full-size photo (1920 / 16:9 wallpaper size) at Flickr
What are we wearing? Turn the page and see.
As always, Around the Grid upholds its Christmas Eve tradition — here is Bing Crosby and David Bowie from 1977, performing their famous duet, “The Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth.” This was the last Christmas special Bing did before his death.
Almost every time I write an article in these pages, I use my “signature” graphic, which bids you all peace. It has several meanings for me: the earthly dream, sung of by two wonderful musicians above, and the more lasting, eternal peace we greet each other with in the Episcopal Church (as well as other liturgical churches). Peace on earth has been a dream for my generation — those of us who still remember our dreams of that time — since our youth in the Sixties and Seventies, and sought by people of goodwill around the world for hundreds of generations.
Nearly forty years after these singers, now both sadly dead, performed this song — which has become a holiday classic in its own right — the world still reels on through conflict and hatred, and the dream of peace among all peoples seems elusive, more of a pipe dream than a reality. But I have to believe that there is still hope for peace — both the kind we think of, between each other, and the sharing of the true peace of God, “which passes all understanding,” no matter how each of us perceives God in our minds and faiths. Perhaps, on the day we achieve earthly peace, the peace of the Earthly Paradise will be made at last apparent to us all, and that other serenity become the true inheritance of us all….
Every child must be made aware
Every child must be made to care
Care enough for his fellow man
To give all the love that he can
May you and yours have a merry, meaningful and — most of all — hopeful Christmas season.
Harper put up an excellent pair of pieces for her Veterans Day writing this week, but I decided to do something of my own. In Canada, we call this Remembrance Day, and it’s more specifically to honour the soldiers and sailors who have fallen, like America’s Memorial Day, since the day’s origin lies in the end of what was then called the Great War, now World War I. The Flanders poppy in my lapel derives from the poppies that dotted the northern European landscape, thus the inspiration for Canadian army doctor John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields.”
Je me souviens….
Jem, Conan (who couldn’t be present) and I all salute our country, our veteran relations and ancestors, and our democratic process.
In part, Veterans Day and Election Day are close enough together this year that I decided to combine the two together into one post. This isn’t normally my practice, but the theme I’m going to talk about here links into both, as it’s a matter that links the two days together. As I’ve done before, I’m writing for all three of us, and adding their signatures to this article with my friends’ review and permission, for which I thank them most gratefully.
We at Around the Grid all have a father or grandfather who served in the U. S. armed forces at some point — as well, doubtless, as any number of ancestors we have never known — and we were raised “traditionally” enough to have a reasonably strong sense of patriotism, along with belief in our country and its inherent good and decency. Our ancestors fought on behalf of the United States in any number of wars, going back to the Revolutionary War, because they believed in those facts. They desired the right of a man — and now of a person — to be free, to determine their own destiny with the least imposition of rule by the government over them, and only by their own consent when the government did institute a law of some kind. Jem and Conan haven’t mentioned any specifics about their fathers; but I can tell you that my own, as I think I’ve mentioned in the past, fought and bled for those ideals in France in World War II. (This is the reason I wear the purple duster I have on above, for Dad’s Purple Heart; and the purple strip in Jemmy’s dress is suggestive.) Many more since have fought, or simply served and stood ready to defend this country against its perceived enemies. Again, as this blog tries to do every year, we salute those men and women — not always understood, never enough appreciated, often wounded in spirit as well as body, but willing to lay their lives down if called upon for the greater good.
Please don’t stop here; more words, even more important, are past the turn of the page.