Archive for December 18th, 2011

December 18th, 2011

Christmas lights

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

It’s funny but whenever Christmas comes around and I see the fun and glee of people outside work, I always remember dealing with death and sadness. It always seems so much worse when people die at Christmas.

I recall the lonely old folk who just seem to give up and pass away on their own surrounded by Christmas cards, the people killed in accidents. We had to deal with a cot death a few days before Christmas last year and everyone seemed more affected than usual.

I’ve been checking out some Christmas posts over the last few years and came across this one back in 2005. It’s not a 200weeks original but it kind of summed up what some of us have had to do at Christmas while most people are tucked up safe and well at home and digging into presents and roast turkey.

Christmas 1992

It sparkled, in the distance on top of the town’s imported Norwegian Spruce, resemblant of something from a winter scene two thousand years before. Beneath, the lights glistened blue and green in the morning air, blue, green, gold and red. In the opposite direction something else glistened red. But this was not man made, nor did it appear on any Christmas tree we had ever known. It was getting bigger as we watched. How still we see thee lie, we and every one of those who stopped to stare.

While shepherds watched we stood and listened and caught short but clearly recognisable snatches of an annual message sent from on high via the speakers of the local shopping precinct.

When we joined, we were so proud long, long ago. Creases sharp as shears down our pristine shirts, we stood in our blue finery, our suits of battle ready to wage war and fight the cause. We were Sir Gawain, filled with the hopeless hopes of a quest at which only we could succeed. With heart and soul and voice we proclaimed our message throughout the land, loud and clear. We were the new centurions. How short was our reign, how tiny our empire.

Our message was lost in translation or perhaps no-one wanted to hear. Time and time again we took to the skies, our white silk scarves untainted from our many previous battles. Merrily on high we soared, dived and fired. Constantly and inevitably we were shot down and each time we bailed out or crashed and burned only to climb back into our machines once more to fly towards the sunset, only to run into snow, on snow.

As the pool of red grew cool then cold we put another blanket on. We shielded the sight and protected those who gathered from a scene not pictured on any Christmas card.

We turned people away in their hundreds. They shouted, they screamed, they protested. They just wanted to go to work. They needed to take their progeny to school. We stood in their way. Arrogant and deliberately. Nothing better to do. Good will to all men.

Close by and covered in splashes of Christmas red lay the twisted monument to freedom, inscribed with an ancient rune from another land which, loosely translated, read “Kawasaki 750″. A steed of once shining silver who’s knight had ridden his last joust. And the angel of the lord came upon him. Twenty nine years old. Plucked from his family four days before a star once more shone brightly in Bethlehem. Why did it always seem so much more tragic at this time of year? His children will still question long after the last snow has fallen crisp and even. His wife will weep as deeply when the rolling of the stone is celebrated. His mother will mourn as greatly in summer as now. At least in heaven the bells are ringing.

What went through your mind when you heard the last triumphant trumpet’s blast? The radiator, one of our number replied, for that is our privilege. Some believe that in order to be born another soul must die immediately before. Will you be reborn? If the messiah comes back in four days time on a motorcycle only we will know.

Our message was lost in translation or perhaps no-one wanted to hear. Perhaps we should have set it to music.

Merry Christmas, one and all, merry Christmas.