My Favorite Images of Christmas 2014 (so far)
Standing at the point on Poplar during rush-hour traffic waving at the passing cars in the most half-assed living nativity I’ve ever seen-what was missing, you might ask? Mary for one. And Joseph. And the Baby Jesus (except for the moment when the bearded man in the toga (a shepherd) lay down on the hay bale and popped his thumb in this mouth.) Tom and I were stars. I mean, we had huge silver stars scotch-taped to deely-boppers. Plus, the nativity had a dinosaur. And a cow. It was awesome.
Our friend the director of the coolest theatre in town bursting out laughing when Tom asked him to take our picture with Mrs. Clause—”You want me to take your picture?”—then doing it, choreographing the photo so that it was PROFESSIONAL with Tom seated on Mrs. Clause’s lap.
The delight on the authors’ faces when I told them I’d learned Memphis Theological Seminary was using Writing Our Way Home: A Group Journey Out of Homelessness in its classes (“I’m being taught in school!”) and the Binghampton United Methodist Church was featuring readings from the book during their Advent services as the Word from the world (“Word!”).
Buying my grey and pink “Go Ask Alice” t-shirt from the Literacy Mid-South Book Sale, which features an imprint of Alice in Wonderland reading a book but for me is a reference to Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” the closest thing Tom and I have to “our song” and without which we might not have gotten married. Then wearing the t-shirt for 5 days straight.
The Advent tassels (that means purple) awarded to, and modeled by, the cleverest writer at my Memphis writing group. What I’m saying is you have to be way clever to be the cleverest writer in our group. And you have to wear purple tassels when you win them.
Presenting at the 8:00 service the newly-completed banner (off of which had fallen a D so that the Window to the Soul was a Win ow to the Soul) but no one gave a damn about that because they were all busy rounding the corner and smiling wide at me, greeting me with “good morning,” because I had said during the presentation that connection with them—when they rounded the corner and made eye contact—was the Window to the Soul.
Tom buying for me a necklace “just because I wanted it.” After which I wore it for 3 days straight. (I fall in love quickly and devotedly).
After I announced at writing group that I wouldn’t be seeing them for a while because I had to have hip surgery, one of the writers coming up to me and asking, incredulous, “They’re gonna cut on you?” FINALLY, the proper amount of admiration for this journey I’m about to embark on.
The image of all of us writers parading (our host’s word, not mine) into one of the largest Methodist churches in Shelby County—invited, beloved guests—where we filled two pews; gave an impromptu (and solo—the only person in the sanctuary who hopped up) standing ovation to the bell-ringers; and otherwise sat when all around us stood as we enjoyed “in action” the gracious men and women who lead writing group every week: preaching, bell-ringing, sermonizing, loving all God’s children.
Finally, the sparkle of the Traditional Christmas Peacock:
Hattiloo Theatre, jefferson airplane, literacy mid-south, Living Nativity, Walgreens Peacock, white rabbit
Your life is so full of a ventures. (Where did that D go??) many blessings to you, and prayers for your surgery!
Ellen Morris Prewitt
It was so funny. Laura the priest said, “We’re already a D down.” I like my religion with a few Ds missing. And thanks for the surgery prayers—much appreciated.
Charlie Van Hecke
You are writing with such freedom! I think the biggest benefit of reading Writing Our Way Home (for me) is to realize that we can write (share) without rules! I have been on Poplar in Memphis; I also enjoy Jefferson Airplane. Keep ringing those bells!
Ellen Morris Prewitt
That is such a wonderful thing to get from the book, Charlie. It makes me happy. And thanks so much for reading and commenting on my words — it is so nice when I hear back from folks.
Love, and mean LOVE, your deep and thoughtful sentiments and words!!!!!
Ellen Morris Prewitt
Thank you so much, Kay. That means a lot. love to you, e