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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Welcome to Melchior's Vision

I huddled close to the ground with my eyes just rising over the roof.  Moss and bark completed the faux cave.  The roof hid the figurines huddled close around the manger. The motley troop of shepherds stood expectantly on the hill formed by my yellow comforter. The frayed fabric ends stood grass-like around the flock.
                Far in the distance, another group of figures huddled. They paused beyond the television and beyond the stand alone record player.  Between the towering wall of the recliner and the magazine rack they canyon sheltered them.  Kings and their retinues paused in their quest to follow the star which dangled from the plastic evergreen.
                Tomorrow, they would move closer, perhaps, past the record player.  The journey had been so long. Melchior, Balthazar, and Gaspar traveled slowly with their gifts.  Melchior’s white beard hung ragged and limp. He set his jaw leaving the mouth partially open.  He moved slowly.
                That night at bedtime, I laid down the kings.  Each one sheltered in the lee of his camel.  Plastic hands clutched gifts protectively. They needed rest. Only a few more days separated them from the location appointed by the appearance of the new light.
  The smell of animals surrounded them.  Threatening savagery lay beyond the small circle lit by their fire. His body ached from another day traveling on his camel, Ania.  Melchior’s eyes closed. His breathing deepened and soon dreams enveloped his mind.  His aged foot moved with preternatural speed re-crossing the distance of his quest. The months fled the dreamer in a second and his eyes grew dimmer and dimmer but his expectation grew clearer.
I slept and tried to find Melchior in the land between the recliner and magazine rack. Dark threats hovered just beyond clarity. The subtle smell of camel guided me forward toward the towering walls.

4 comments:

  1. This is from Steve Warner, workshop writer. I sometimes go by the name "Anton"

    I too used to huddle on the floor, close to the Christmas manger, staring into it. It always smelled like a pine tree.

    I was reading a cloistered nun's blog and she said that at her monastery, the large statues of the Three Kings were randomly moved about the monastery, not arriving at the manger until the feast of the Epiphany. The nuns got a kick out of the odd places a King might appear on his journey to visit the manger. Every day a king or kings would be somewhere else on the premises.

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  2. While we're on the theme of the Christmas manger, I saw a Christmas card once that I wish I had bought.

    It showed a very messy bedroom in Nazareth with a teenage Jesus lounging in it.

    Mother Mary was standing in the doorway of her Son's untidy room. She was shouting: "Jesus Christ, clean this place up. What do you think--you were born in a barn?"

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  3. PhatPat and Anton. I wanted to thank you for taking the time to read and comment. It is much appreciated. The card story was enjoyed by several friends! Hope you will check back again.

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