Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The holy wholly holey mess of humanity

One of my favorite movies is The Philadelphia Story and my favorite line in it is Katherine Hepburn’s: “I am such an unholy mess of a girl.” It’s a breakthrough moment for a woman who has spent all of her life aspiring to perfection only to fail at being a human being.

I think of that moment so often during our Sundays together. Jimmy and Quinton remind us over and over again, in one way or another, that we have to accept – maybe even luxuriate in – our imperfection and incompleteness. It is what makes us human, what bring us together. Some argue it is the source of the greatest of human achievements.

But right now, in this season of so much stress for the world, and so much desire to make things the best they can possibly be for our family and friends, it’s all too easy to be exhausted by all that is less than perfect.

I plead guilty as charged: at this season I feel like a hamster on the proverbial wheel, covered as it may be by garland and tinsel. Every meeting has too many words; every task takes too long; every list seems to have a new item every time I look at the paper it’s written on. I am such an unholy mess of a girl – but I’ll bet I look and sound a lot more like the Mad Hatter than I do like Katherine Hepburn!

So I think maybe now is a good time to make some Old Year’s Resolutions. For example, maybe it would be good to try to do simple things like taking time actually to taste one of the holiday treats everyone has put out to share with friends and neighbors, or stopping to listen to one really good song of the season. Whatever it takes to remember the best of the season and not be overwhelmed by the worst.

And to remember as well how blessed we all are to have found ourselves in a community where we understand it is our imperfection that make us human and interesting and fun. Where, as someone said at the wonderful Thunderado party Sunday night at Ford’s Filling Station, “Sassy is a very good thing.”

Whatever your schedule brings for the rest of the year, here’s wishing you a very excellent Christmas and a very sassy New Year.

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