Friday, December 11, 2009

ADVENT COUNTDOWN 15

A frosty Christmas Eve
when the stars were shining
Fared I forth alone
where westward falls the hill,
And from many a village
in the water'd valley
Distant music reach'd me
peals of bells aringing:
The constellated sounds
ran sprinkling on earth's floor
As the dark vault above
with stars was spangled o'er.
Then sped my thought to keep
that first Christmas of all
When the shepherds watching
by their folds ere the dawn
Heard music in the fields
and marveling could not tell
Whether it were angels
or the bright stars singing.
Robert Seymour Bridges
"Noel: Christmas Eve, 1913."
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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 Christmaspoem 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.]

20 comments:

Wanda said...

Beautiful unique photo...I know it's a lovely star atop a Christmas tree, but at first glance it looked like a fancy Christmas cookie on a large black plate.

Scattering Lupines said...

Ohmigoodness! I haven't visited in so long that I've MISSED this wonderful advent countdown. What a GREAT idea! Sure beats my little cardboard advent calendar with chocolate behind each window...

Can't wait to see what's coming for tomorrow:)

Kelly said...

...I like this poem...
Are these decorations from your tree?

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Beautiful image - magical. :-)

And the words are comforting - picturesque in detail and brings forth lovely music to fill the air - it is night and day and wonderful.

thanks Grizz

Love Gail
pece.......

MyStory of HiStory said...

Visited here via Scattering Lupines today. Photos & Poetry ... What great tools to use to reflect & observe Advent.

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

Wanda…

Ha! It does look like an iced and decorated cookie on a plate. Not a great photo, but I was just fooling around after I got my tree 3/4th decorated (it's still 3/4th decorated!) and thought I'd stick a few into the photo mix.

(If it were a cookie, I think I'd eat it right now. I've been up since 6:00 a.m. and not had breakfast yet!)

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

Scattering Lupines…

Now where've you been hiding out for so long? I've been checking your blog out regularly. (No, I've not left comments. Look, I'm hanging my head in shame…)

Anyway, glad you finally found your way back and like the Advent countdown quotes and photos. A computer geek would probably be able to set up the code necessary to have a reader click on a little window and the photo then appear. Now that would really be fun. I'm doing good just to get this up.

No chocolate, though.

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

Kelly…

Yes, the little cottage is an ornament and the star is the tree's topper. These were just quick shots, not intended for posting, else I'd have done a better job. They seemed to work well, though, so I may even stick a couple more up, intermixed with outdoor stuff. I love Christmas and have tons of decorations. It might be fun to photograph a bunch of it.

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

Gail…

I do think this poem paints such wonderful images. I'm glad you liked it, too.

Hope things are going well…

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

MyStory…

I'm glad you found your way here to the riverbank, and hope you enjoyed your visit. And grateful, too, that Scattering Lupines was kind enough to point the way.

We're a pretty unpretentious lot here, and you're always welcome to drop by and join in.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Robert Bridges - one of my favourite poets, Scribe - and not very fashionable these days sadly. Thank you for bringing him to mind.

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

Weaver…

You know, I wondered whether or not you'd know Robert Bridges' work—and had a bet with myself that you would. Guess I win.

I have some other quotes from him in in daybooks.

Anna said...

Wow this is so nice and blue. Thanks for sharing your christmas spirit post. Anna :)

Friko said...

I love your idea of presenting Advent.
This season is one of the most special, secret and homely in Germany and I am trying to recreate the feeling just a little her in the UK, where Advent means rushing to the shops and driving yourself mad.
Thank you for your wonderful pictures and poems.

Bernie said...

Another Christmassy (is that a word)poem and I love the star... really pretty Grizz.....:-) hugs

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

Anna…

I had the hardest time finding any lighted star the year I bought this one. I must have looked in 25 stores. This one turns blue then green. I thought I'd taken a shot of each color, but when I uploaded my photos, I had two blues. So when I decided to use one on by countdown post…blue it was!

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

Friko…

Most of the people in my growing up didn't pay much attention to Advent. It was mentioned in church, but not in any way recognized in decorations of celebrations. Later, I discovered Advent calendars and liked the idea. This year, I wanted to do something sort of like that for this blog.

I'm glad you found your way here and like the postings. Please visit as often as you wish—you're always welcome. And thank you for writing.

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

Bernie…

Christmassy is certainly a word—and a great one, at that! This is a Christmassy post! Glad you liked it!

KGMom said...

Aha--I was going to ask how you made the photo, but assuming Wanda is correct, I have the answer.
I thought it looked like a brooch at first, then I thought--no--it's water with an overlay of something.
So, it's a Christmas tree star?

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

KGMom…

Yup, just my star tree topper. And like I said somewhere else, I didn't shoot any of these ornament shots with the intention of using them in a post—they were just quick snaps to see what the lighting might look like. If I'd been trying to do a good job, I'd have paid more attention to parallax distortion—in other words, squared my camera lens and the vertical aspects of the star's face side up more. Which just shows you how apparently unnecessarily nit-picky I can be.