I can think of two particular stories to illustrate how I have been feeling this Christmastide. The first s the famous ending of the classic movie the graduate. Dustin Hoffman dramatically storms the church and steals his love, Anne Bancroft away form the altar where she was almost tragically married to some other dude. The two board a passing bus and the camera lingers on them…a little too long, just long enough for those of us watching the scene to realize that starry eyed feeling of them staring in each other eyes quickly becomes awkward and uncertain in hardly any time at all, in less time it takes for the scene ti finally, mercifully fade to black. The other time was when I made the highly emotional, thrilling and conflicted drive to my first day of university. So many days I had been anticipating the drive and the drive itself was both wonderful and terrifying.
When I finally pulled on to campus I remember parking my car, getting out and looking far off to the ocean horizon, and then turned and face the buildings and literally said to myself, “Now what?” To call these moments anti-climactic is somehow entirely wrong, they are both exactly climactic and exhilarating, but like all real human moments, they keep going. There are the few moments after every spectacular moment when we are returned to the hard churned out work of time and remember just how mundane each of our lives insist on being. Every Oscar winner eventually has to set Oscar down and use the bathroom. Every medal winning Olympian still awaits they have to take NyQuil to barely, and miserably sleep through the night to wake dehydrated exhausted, and cranky. And even the Holy family had the morning after. The shepherds looked at each other and said, “soooo, well, I guess we should be going…” and even the Holy family had the morning after. The shepherds looked at each other and said, “soooo, well, I guess we should be going…” and Mary with her eyelids half open said, “yeah thanks for stopping by to worship God-incarnate that just popped out of me, g’night, drive safe,” only to be awakened a few hours later by a cold and hungry baby Jesus who was not yet so keen on acting like the divine king we had been expecting… and, of course, there was the first diaper, when one half of Joseph’s mind was asking, “Is he ok? Is this poop normal? I should ask my mom,” and the other half was saying, “So you, mr poopy-butt, have come to save us. Alleluia. Alleluia.”