John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:

Advent 2011: Holiday greetings with best wishes for the new year

I sort of had the idea in my head that I wouldn't put up multiple cards I received from any one person during this Advent project. But when I started looking through my scanned cards this evening, the one that spoke to me was this one, which I received from my friends at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling. But, I said to myself, I already used one of their cards, back on December 14! Then I remembered having posted at least three cards from the collection of the Wisconsin Historical Society. And it's not like I've gone about this with any grand plan in mind; for the most part, I've picked cards for the project rather haphazardly, either by searching the web for a card that was relevant to a topic or theme that happened to occur to me, or by looking through the card folder and finding the one that felt right. And this one feels right.

(ETA: Looking back, I see I already failed at living up to this "rule" by featuring two cards from a2zmom, first on November 29 and again on December 28.)

One interesting thing about this card is that it came accompanied by a poem by Mary Oliver, who is a particular favorite of UUCS's pastor. I've reproduced the poem below the card.

Holiday greetings with best wishes for the new year
Private collection. Copyright © 2009 Masterpiece Studios

Red Bird Explains Himself

"Yes, I was the brilliance floating over the snow
and I was the song in the summer leaves, but this was
only the first trick
I had hold of among my other mythologies,
for I also knew obedience: bring sticks to the nest,
food to the young, kisses to my bride.

But don’t stop there, stay with me: listen.

If I was the song that entered your heart
then I was the music of your heart, that you wanted and needed,
and thus wilderness bloomed that, with all its
followers: gardeners, lovers, people who weep
for the death of rivers.

And this was my true task, to be the
music of the body. Do you understand? for truly the body needs
a song, a spirit, a soul. And no less, to make this work,
the soul has need of a body,
and I am both of the earth and I am of the inexplicable
beauty of heaven
where I fly so easily, so welcome, yes,
and this is why I have been sent, to teach this to your heart."

     Mary Oliver (born 1935)
     From Red Bird, Copyright © 2008
Tags: advent: 2011, animals, greeting card, poet's corner

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