Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Flying spirit

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown, of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown…

This is neither holly nor ivy, but it reminds me of the strands you string around Christmas trees, shiny ornaments, tiny lights that glow in the dusk.

We sang "The Holly and the Ivy" for a Christmas program when I was in 4th grade. I wasn’t used to singing songs from Olde England, and the chorus was always curious to me:

The rising of the sun and the running of the deer, the playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir…

I imagined sunrise, and hunters, and a herd of deer running through the church, leaping over pews, crashing out of stained glass windows to be free again. And the organist and choir diligently performing Handel’s Messiah, oblivious to what’s going on around them.

And then a child walks in, picks up pieces of the colored glass, holds them up to her eyes and sees the world in a whole new way…through crimson, cobalt, green, yellow ochre…

Rather paint the flying spirit of the bird than its feathers - Robert Henri

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