There she weaves by night and day…
She has heard a whisper say
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be
And so she weaveth steadily…
"I am half-sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I am half-sick of shadows too… Twenty years this month, since I last spent Christmas in India, where cotton wool replaced the snow on the fir tree outside our bedroom window (we could only ever reach the first layers of branches, so the tree always looked extremely strange and wonderful). This Christmas I don't want to think about commerce and duty, only the memory of the Red Cross choir who would come to sing for each house on our street, and for the candles lit and mangers built in every department of the hospital where my father consulted. Simpler times, authentic times - Santa was fun but not the essence. Jesus was, and so was light and hope...
Image from The Mag: Autumn on the River, 1889, John Singer Sargent