Ann Keiffer

Singing Christmas

We have been singing Christmas.

A chorus of various and sundry angels,
we began appearing unto one other
every Monday night
not quite four months ago.
Our labor has been long
and sometimes painful
as we have struggled
with foreign tongues
and rhythms
to bring to birth again
the story
of this dear child,
this Great Love,
as it is told
around the world.

In these four months,
we have learned to lean
into one another for comfort
during twinges of dissonant harmonies.
We have counted and timed together
the tempo of our musical labor and rests.
We have swaddled each other
with words of encouragement,
shared laughter and the mutuality
of the sometimes excruciating reality
of the task we had taken up.

And at last the day did come
when we sang Christmas.
It was in the very sacristy that
we fixed each other’s hair,
pinned on sashes and boutonnières,
whispered our anxieties,
checked our music,
smothered our laughter,
shooshed each other’s talking,
and gave praise for the small miracle
of one unlocked bathroom.

Then into the hush of all those gathered,
we came forth to give all we had to bring.
With guitar, piano, harp, and bass,
with drum, marimba, and flute,
we sang of olives, of raisins and honey,
of the Holy Child and the Holy Mother,
of holy light, and a holy dance.
We sang our glorias, our alleluias,
our doo-bahs, and our la-la’s.
We even shook our ya-yas!

And when we were done,
in the midst of the bows,
ecstasy, happiness, peace wrapped
me ’round like a heavenly balm.
My heart was enormous with joy,
wanting to embrace every angel
around, about me…
wanting to kiss our Archangel Shu
right on her smoochy lips…
wanting to dance for joy
with each person in the audience,
because the Lord of the Dance
still goes on…dancing in us.

There is no wanting in me this season,
no longing, nothing left out,
no other gift needed.
I am filled up with love.

…For we did well and truly
sing Christmas to birth again.

Ann L. Keiffer
December, 2003


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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