The quietude of Christmas

I spent Christmas with family, and later in the day thought I would spend time in town before heading to visit with friends.

It was deserted.

I don’t know what I was expecting, given that it was freezing.

But I think I was expecting exactly this, given the hour… just at evening and not into the night.

Le Petit Theatre, recently closed, has been struggling of late. I remember standing on the balcony the Friday after 9/11 joining in the candlelight vigil in the plaza.

I also thought of Benjamin Britton’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’, especially the piece ‘In Freezing Winter Night’.

Christmas, always the beginning of a time of wonder… and the quietude of Christmas can be wonderful if we allow God to speak to us through it.

Christmas Eve…

at immaculate conception Ah, at last Christmas Eve arrives. Advent is such a period of waiting, preparation. It’s a shame so many think it’s actually Christmas, when the next week (which of course *is* Christmas), is so peaceful, and often spent with family and friends.

For some reason I agreed to play the piano/organ for an evening Mass tonight. While I used to do that as a matter of course 4-6 times per weekend for decades, I haven’t done it in awhile and my nerves already are having a field day. Oh well, it may not be my most technically correct presentation, but like the little drummer boy, it is something I can offer.

Prayers for all as we enter into this great and holy Feast.

It’s almost Christmas…

It’s (almost) Christmas tiiiime, in the city….

Santa already seems to be everywhere.

santa downtown

There was an organ concert tonight at the Cathedral. It was great despite being a bit (well, extremely) brief due to the caroling about to take place out front. The Concert Choir also had a wonderful concert, though I have to confess to running a bit late. It’s interesting how many people turn around when the organ starts playing so beautifully.

organ concert

(Of course I would never take a photo while someone is playing… noise you know.)

The city at night….

a city at night

A beautiful evening.

jackson square

And to all a good night!

A Moss Phase

a mossy day

Awhile ago I decided that I needed a new hobby, and after considerable thought and prayer went with photography. One of my friends, deeply critical, said something long the lines of, ‘That’s for professionals,’ and ‘That’s a whole special field’ when I took a picture of a meal, and ‘That’s just not a good photo!’ about some shot which was obviously not a good shot. But one thing I learned working in the arts for thirty years prior to ordination, is that sometimes you just have to ignore your critics and try to live life as well as possible while honing a craft, pursuing a dream, or otherwise spending time in a way which may not be understood by a few, or by many… but which is still incredibly life giving.

mossy mossy

That’s a long way of saying that yes, I know… these are not great photos. They are not intended to be. And I don’t mind that at all. But for me, there is something about them which is interesting.

moss at night

Art is something which, to my mind, ought to transcend the fact that the producer likes it and finds it interesting; so that one who perceives it also considers it to be interesting. Or whatever it is which one might consider it to be. There is trend in art, often, to merely seek reactionary responses, to want to rile up emotions, turn over apple carts etc. Perhaps that has its place… but who needs it ultimately.

even more moss

That being said, I really think moss has some beautiful moments… Hopefully when I am old and as gray as moss, I will have learned how to take better photos, and will at least have better quality snapshots of my life along the way.

mossy night

Fr. Kenneth Allen