Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas sounds

It is Christmas, even here in the tropics. I tried to send out e-cards but all the scenes were of snow and ice. Bethlehem has a climate much more like this one, no? But we have fake fir trees in the stores.....Just can't escape that Euro-centrism.

But the darkness, the solstice-- the orginal Christmas that was usurped - that we do not have. Except perhaps the celebration of the end of the rainy season, which took over 100 lives this year and most of next year's plantains.

I hope that it was really really raining very hard in Bali. And that the lights went out. And that the bridges were flooded.

However, we do have large woven straw Christmas llamas for sale on the streets.

All hail, the Christmas llama... I think it is really a camel. Just seems a bit small.

I was going to Haiti. Nervous and excited. But the Haitian American friend who was coming to talk to me about his jatropha ( a plant which grows in arid soil and yields a burnable fuel) project could not come. We have postponed the encounter.

I will fly to DC instead, dressed as some sort of refugee in layers of summer clothing-- to hold my great-great nephew on his first Christmas.

Next year, I will hear the "Messiah" performed in Port au Prince......... I hope.

Here in my apartment building, I am the only foreigner. But someone nearby is learning Beethoven's Ninth on the recorder.

I picked up mine and played back at them. We will meet soon, I think, over Ludwig.

Digital memory is amazing. Back at Friends Seminary, we were so small (350 students, k-12) that we had only one music teacher, and only one instrument - The recorder. As we got older and taller, we could advance to the tenor and alto and bass recorders, if we wished......

But even though the pictures of Christmas are all in white and snow, and Jesus looks more like a goyim than a Jew, there are many sounds of the Christ that reverberate only in drums.

Me, I am a vodousant in training.

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