Monday, December 10, 2007

"Away In An Awesome Manger"

Garrison Keillor's got some beautiful lines in here. A snippet here, and then go and enjoy the hope shimmering throughout the whole piece at Salon:

...This magical story is a cornerstone of the Christian faith and I am sorry if it's a big hurdle for the skeptical young. It is to the Church what his Kryptonian heritage was to Clark Kent -- it enables us to stop speeding locomotives and leap tall buildings at a single bound, and also to love our neighbors as ourselves. Without the Nativity, we become a sort of lecture series and coffee club, with not very good coffee and sort of aimless lectures.

On Christmas Eve, the snow on the ground, the stars in the sky, the spruce tree glittering with beloved ornaments, we stand in the dimness and sing about the silent holy night and tears come to our eyes and the vast invisible forces of Christmas stir in the world. Skeptics, stand back. Hush. Hark. There is much in this world that doubt cannot explain.

(I might have told the kids that when you use the word "awesome" to describe everything above mediocre, you're missing a word for Christmas Eve, but I'm not their editor either.)...


Maddy said...

Just the sound of his voice - can hear every word.
This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"until blogger comments get themselves sorted out.

Ray from MN said...

Here's a No. 9 for your Immaculate Conception Meme, I.C.

9. Everything that I know about being a busboy I learned from Garrison Keillor in the Coffman Memorial Union Cafeteria when we were Freshmen in College at the U of Minnesota.

He had a quarter's seniority on me, so he was the lead when I got the job Winter Quarter for a little spending money.

The students came piling in about noonish and got their meals on trays and we chatted for a half hour or so while we waited in our little cubicle for them to start returning the trays to the 24 slots where we would remove them and send them down to the dishwashers on the dumbwaiter. Got it? You can do it too, if you need a job.

He was tall and gangly and nerdy but I was fascinated by the fact that he was volunteering at the WMMR dorm radio station. I thought that was kinda neat and would have liked to do that myself, although I had no skills or background in radio or performance or just about anything, being a Frosh.

Then about the 12:30 the fast eaters started returning their trays and the pace picked up and by quarter to one there were dozens in line attempting to stuff their trays any which way into the slots so that they could go back to goofing off or whatever students do. Those last 30 or 40 minutes till about 1:15 or so were some of the fastest work I have ever done. Fortunately, neatness was not a priority. Just get them on the dumbwaiters.

Then a bit of neatness was required to clean up the area and Garrison and I said g'bye til the next day. I could have been "Jim Ed Poole" if I had had the initiative to stick with him.

I actually was one of his earliest fans when the Prairie Home Companion started performing in the old Medicine Wagon (I wonder what's happened to that?) at the Science Museum of Minnesota's "back yard" in the early 70s. But I didn't realize that Keillor was an old pal until much later.

I did get his autography once on his "biography" of Jesse Ventura and did introduce myself and mention our history together. Surprisingly, he did not fall all over me and offer me a job with his show. I guess I should be more pushy.

Thanks for posting that Christmas item from Keillor, I.C. I didn't know that some/all of Salon was free. I haven't visited the site for a very long time. I do visit Slate and ALD daily.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Ray, I think everyone in MN has six degrees of separation from Keillor, but you're a whole lot closer than the rest of us!

Maybe we MN Catholic bloggers should have as a tagline: Where the blooger men are strong, blogger women good looking, and our parishes above average"


The Ironic Catholic said...

Um, blogger, not blooger. (Ew.)

The Fox said...

Lovely post (read the whole article). As someone whose grandparents made her listen to Prairie Home Companion from WI to CO and back one summer, I have an appreciation for Kellior. As a full time youth minister his words ring so true (especially after the chaos of last Sunday's youth group).

Good luck with all your papers.