Friday, December 23, 2005

The gospel of timelessness

To all my friends in the blogosphere: Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah.
If none of the above applies, then may you enjoy being snug and warm with the beverage of your choice on these cold winter days.

I was launched into the holiday spirit this morning through the incomparable voice of gospel great Mahalia Jackson. Every year at this time, one of the interview shows on the local National Public Radio station (WNYC-AM) switches format and plays Christmas music sung by famous and lesser-known gospel singers.
I love this time of year, though I don't celebrate any of the holidays that occur around now (but I have a fondness for the winter solstice and mark it in my own way). But hearing Mother Jackson sing "Go Tell It on the Mountain" would soften the heart and warm the soul of even the meanest Scrooge. The emotion of her rendition literally makes my spine tingle. I wind up believing in spite of myself.
There was something about hearing this gospel broadcast, cup of tea in hand, on my small transistor radio that put me in mind of what Christmases past must have been like, when radio was king and people were creatures of greater imagination and were more easily, innocently and simply entertained.
It's funny, but I felt a nostalgia for a time well before my time.
Somehow, I got the feeling that I knew just what it must've been like back then. With my eyes closed and my ears open, you couldn't tell me that this wasn't 1940s Memphis and that I wasn't listening to Mother Jackson in a live broadcast.
I think this is what people mean when they say something is timeless.

Peace, joy, hope, health and happiness to you all.


Phats said...

Happy Holidays Michael, I hope yours are relaxing and enjoyful!

Michael said...

Thanks, Phats, and I wish you the same!

Lone Wolf said...

I really enjoy this time of the year. The Christmas songs bring alot of joy and cheer to my heart. Houses lit up and everyone out spending their money they worked hard for to make others happy. Have a great winter solstice Michael.

Michael said...

Thanks, Lone Wolf! Have a wonderful holiday, and all the best to you and yours in the coming year!

Mike Cross said...

Know what you mean about nostalgia for times past. For me, "The midnight train is whining low..." does it. I'm not sure about special days in the calendar, though. I will look forward to a quiet walk, under trees and clouds that do not know or care what day it is. One foot in front of the other--that's happiness.

Michael said...

Thank you, Mike, and all the best in the coming year to you and yours.

Ali said...

Thank you for your post... I just came in from a nice walk and after reading your blog, will settle down to a cup of tea. Cheers, Michael.

anu said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2006 Michael. Wish you lots of good health, love, peace, joy and prosperity.

And of course, fun n laughter :D

Michael said...

Anu, the very best to you in 2006. I hope it's a healthy year for us all!