Monday, December 14, 2009

ADVENT COUNTDOWN 12

Christmas hath darkness
Brighter than the blazing noon,
Christmas hath a chillness
Warmer than the heat of June,
Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.
Earth, strike up your music,
Birds that sing and bells that ring;
Heaven hath answering music
For all Angels soon to sing:
Earth, put on your whitest
Bridal robe of spotless snow:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

—Christina Rossetti, "Christmas Eve."
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[The word "Advent" comes from the Latin adventus, which means "coming." In the Christian church Advent is that period of expectant waiting leading up to the Nativity of Jesus. Some prefer to think of it as a "Countdown to Christmas." If you've ever had an Advent calendar, you know that each day prior to Christmas has it own window, usually hidden behind a little flap or door, behind which is a scene or verse from the Scriptures. I thought it would be fun to take that idea and post a daily photo with a bit of text below—a stanza or two from a Christmas poem or a few lines of prose from a favorite Christmas story. The photos aren't intended to be tied with the text. Some are just ones I meant to run with a post this past year, but for whatever reason, didn't. To set these posts apart from my regular—or irregular!—ones, I've given them a different typeface and look.]

18 comments:

Wanda said...

Your photo has a sense of darkness and yet there's bright reflecting light, the glass ornament appears icy cold, but still...it possesses a warm glow. Perfect for the poem!

Scattering Lupines said...

Beautiful words!

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-
Beautiful image and exciting words, blended in promise of His birth. "Thank you" for bringing Advent to life for me this year.

Love to you
Gail
poeace.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

I'm so glad you thought the ornament photo worked okay with the poem…I wasn't sure, but I liked it for just the things you mentioned—the surrounding darkness and bright, crystalline glow.

Thank you…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Scattering Lupines…

It's hard to beat Christina Rossetti for lovely words. I'm sure you know she also wrote the words now used in the song, "In the Bleak Midwinter."

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

That's the wonderful key to Advent…the growing awareness and anticipation of the coming event. If these daily verses have become meaningful to you in that way, then that's the best I could have hoped.

Best, always…

The Weaver of Grass said...

When I read the first line Scribe I thought - this sounds like Christina Rossetti - there is no poet to touch her for beauty of language. Thanks for your hyacinth poem BTW - lovely and I had not heard it before.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

Rossetti is a gem! Always lovely language.

I'm amazed you didn't know the hyacinth lines. I expect I first heard them from my late friend Frank, who was quite fond of quoting them, and on more than one occasion, working them into a nature column or sermon—which, BTW, were often almost one in the same.

I think there are far worse life philosophies to follow in life, too…

Bernie said...

I so love this ornament, I saw only the light when I looked at it and the poem you choose was beautiful, everything comes together Grizz....:-) Hugs

Rowan said...

You've chosen some lovely photographs and words for your Advent Calendar, my favourite one is the blazing fire though - it's the closest to my own particular leanings at this time of the year. The marzipan recipe will be arriving soon:)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

Ahh…the Eliza Cook lines and a shot of my fireside last week. BTW, I love your christmas goose. I'll have to run a post on Humbug the Christmas mule, who comes out from his storage box this time every year to lord over the decorations and festivities.

It is noted…marzipan recipe in the works, and due to arrive whenever. (Don't rush yourself.) I'm planning to make a few jars of mincemeat this week.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Oops! I got you comment's reply out of sequence.

That's what you're supposed to see, the light…but remember, light is only apparent and valuable when shining through and conquering a surrounding darkness.

Hildred and Charles said...

Ahh, Christine Rossetti, - what a wonderful gift she was. We will be singing "In the bleak midwinter" this Sunday. The image is beautiful and very relevant.

TheChicGeek said...

Hi Scribe :)
This one brought tears to my eyes today...maybe I am just a mushpot today...lol

The words are beautiful and the picture is so lovely.

I have been so busy, busy, busy and not able to visit. It always feels like home when I stop here. You are such a nice person and you have such lovely readers too. I adore Gail especially :)

Thank you for being you and sharing your thoughts and love and blessings on your blog. You really are a treasure...you are my sanctuary by the river :) If I feel down I know when I stop here I will be uplifted.

I wish you a Happy and Cozy Week! Stay warm and Well, Scribe :)
Kelly

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Hildred and Charles…

"In the Bleak Midwinter" has long been one of my favorite Christmas songs. Though I have it on numerous CDs, it's one of those pieces of music I think sounds best performed live, in a large room with good acoustics (such as a church) sung by a choir who can keep their voices blended while singing at almost a soft volume, and accompanied by, say, only an organ.

In spite of that lofty pronouncement, one of my favorite versions is by the late Dan Fogelberg from his "The First Christmas Morning," which is a simple and lovely guitar-accompanied solo.

BTW, Christina Rossetti wrote several Christmas poems; I believe I have at least three in my daybooks.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly (CG)…

Christina Rossetti is always worth reading because she so often wrote straight from her heart—and she was very, very good.

Well I'm glad you like the me you find when you visit, because that's the only one I have. Good, bad, or otherwise…this is it!

Yup, Gail is a dandy reader and supporter…and I expect you pretty much get what you read/see there, too.

Frankly, I think I have the best readers/followers in all of blogdom. I wish I could cook up a real feast for the whole bunch every so often, and we could all gather and eat and have a day of warm merriment here along the river. Nothing would please me more. I appreciate everyone so very much…

Guess I don't have to tell you to stay warm out there on the sunset coast—but don't get so busy that you forget to take time to enjoy the season and its many blessings with kith and kin.

TheChicGeek said...

Thank you, Scribe :) I never get too busy and too far off course for long. I really am a "stop and smell the roses" kind of girl...lol

Life is for living and loving and sharing with others...friends and family, those are the most important things.

Have a Beautiful Day and Yes, I am cozy out here in LaLa land...lol It's been a freezing 56 degrees :)
Love and Hugs to you, Scribe :)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly (CG)…

"Life is for living and loving and sharing with others...friends and family, those are the most important things."

Couldn't have said it better.

Huh, 56˚F! Who wudda thunk.