FLIGHTS FROM THE PAST
22 December, 1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group

A Thought for Today

The love of God is love’s highest aspiration.

 

In winter we return home again to whatever. Cold comfort. Warmth of friends. Strangeness. Death. We hibernate like bears. Seek private places to stay private in. Ward off colds. Christmas for the children. Contemplation for some, loneliness for others.

There is a purity to winter. A calmness. The young are left alone because their elders dwell on loss and limits. The New Year coming gives us excuses for reassessing our lives and attempting to resolve old conflicts. Maybe the purity of winter has more to do with snow than stuff of stronger substance.

-from "A Book of Days", 1981

Of course our friends in the Southern Hemisphere are celebrating the start of summer. Ken e-mailed a day or so ago from Johannesburg that he was spending South Africa’s first summer holiday taking his pool filter in for repair so his daughters could continue swimming algae free. Coral wrote from Melbourne, where she’s spent the last month beefing up an Aussie TV series, that she could hardly wait to get back home to the Gold Coast and her morning walks along the sea...

I haven’t noticed the weather much lately, since I seem to have spent a good deal of time under it.. I am well on the mend, thank you, and the first order of the day is a long, low bow to Captain Ken for taking over this space while I was away. Applause, please, for a great job. He selected past flight plans of mine and added his own introductions and commentary, making sure that when you dropped by you weren’t greeted by a blank page. I like the way Ken thinks and writes so his choices were always pleasant surprises for me. He even resurrected his high holiness The Guru for a word or two. If you’d like to see just how well he writes, join him here every Wednesday for his "This One Does It For Me" feature.

I hope your Christmas shopping is coming along better than mine is.

- RM First Published 12/22/1998

notable birthdays Benny Andersson o Jane Austen o Ludwig van Beethoven o David Ben-Gurion o Steven Bochco o Leonid Brezhnev o Tom Brookshier o Arthur C. Clarke o Noel Coward o Ben Cross o Billy Gibbons o Michael McCary o Margaret Mead o William “Refrigerator” Perry o George Santayana o Lesley Stahl o Jon Tenney o Liv Ullmann
Rod's random thoughts Winter is a word we choose to remember only vaguely till it blows in in all its wonder.

I wish you Christmas every time you close your eyes. I pray that you will run with deer and soar with eagles, touching ground
only long enough to find that one who’ll love you every bit as much as I do and one you’ll feel the same about.

We gather strength through fidelity.

FOUR SONGS OF THE SEASON

Simple Gifts

Though the gift be small and simple
if the wish is wide
just the simple gift of giving
makes you warm inside.

Though the thought is ever fleeting
if a thought at all
remember all the mighty big things
started out as small.

So if you’ve a gift worth giving
let it be your smile
let it be a kindly word
that makes a stranger stop awhile.

Let it be a simple gift then
if the wish is wide
just the simple gift of giving
makes you warm inside.

© 1965 by Stanyan Music & Rod McKuen

A Hand To Hold at Christmas

Everybody needs
A Hand To Hold At Christmas
All of us could use
A friendly smile
A pretty holly wreath
With presents underneath
And most of all.
A Hand To Hold At Christmas.

Everybody needs
A Hand To Hold At Christmas
All of us could use
A friendly grim
A word or two of cheer
To finish up the year
But most of all.
A Hand To Hold At Christmas.

When the sidewalk Santa’s
Start their jingle jangle jingle
And all the streets
Are silver and gold
Winter ‘s not a wonderland
unless you feel a tingle
And walking’s only walking
without a hand to hold.

Everybody needs
A Hand To Hold At Christmas
Each of us could use
A happy heart
A tug upon the sleeve
Come Christmas Eve
And best of all.
A Hand To Hold At Christmas.

© 1965 by Rod McKuen & Stanyan Music

The Carols of Christmas

refrain
The Carols of Christmas,
Are warming the winter night
And what man among us
Has not seen the star so bright
That shines up above
A symbol of love
And all that is good and right.
The Carols Of Christmas
Float through the air
And warm up the winter night

verse
The wreath of bright holly
That covers the Christmas door
A symbol of union
In things that have gone before
Like hope and a handshake
Ties that will not break
All this and so much more
The Carols Of Christmas
Float through the air
The same as in days of yore.

refrain
The Carols Of Christmas,
Are warming the winter night
And what man among us
Has not seen the star so bright
That shines up above
A symbol of love
And all that is good and right.
The Carols Of Christmas
Float through the air
Are warm up the winter night

©1971 by Rod McKuen & Editions Chanson Music

Thank You For Christmas

Thank You For Christmas
The first one I remember
That was more than just another day
Deep in December.
Back came the holidays
The ones I told goodbye
Until you paused a moment
And looked me in the eye.

And thank you for what I thought
I’d never find
Christmas of a kind
I’d conjured in my mind.

As for the lights of town
Like Christmas down the hill
Off beyond your nakedness
I can see them still.
I suppose that I knew even then
Christmas is for little boys
And not for grown up men

Still for a time in the year
That we’ve just passed
I wanted you to know
You gave me Christmas at last.

© 1970 by Rod McKuen & Editions Chanson Music.

 
© 1965, 1970, 1971, 1981, 1998. 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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