Tuesday, December 25, 2012

An Allegorical Christmas Story, "The Singer" Excerpt

My friend Martha Lively posted a portion of Calvin Miller's retelling of the biblical Christmas story from The Singer over on her blog, Sharing Air. I first encountered Miller's powerful allegory in college. Reading Martha's post this morning, I found the allegory just as powerful all these years later and think it's a fitting reminder that the holidays hold a plethora of personal meaning for each individual.

May your day be happy, bright, and filled with meaningful stories. Thank you for spending part of your valuable time here with me.

from The Singer by Calvin Miller


The Father and his Troubadour sat down upon the outer rim of space.  "And here, My Singer," said Earthmaker,  "is the crown of all my endless skies—the green, brown sphere of all my hopes." He reached and took the round new planet down and held it to his ear. "They're crying, Troubadour," he said. "They cry so hopelessly." He gave the little ball unto his Son, who also held it by His ear.

"Year after weary year they all keep crying. They seem born to weep then die. Our new man taught them crying in the fall. It is a peaceless globe. Some are sincere in desperate desire to see her freed of her absurdity, but war is here. Men die in conflict, bathed in blood and greed."  Then with his nail he scraped the atmosphere and both of them beheld the planet bleed.

***

Earthmaker set earth spinning on its way
And said, "Give me your vast infinity
My son; I'll wrap it in a bit of clay.
Then enter Terra microscopically
To love the little souls who weep away
Their lives." "I will," I said, "set Terra free."

And then I fell asleep and all awareness fled.
I felt my very being shrinking down.
My vastness ebbed away. In dwindling dread,
All size decayed. The universe around
Drew back. I woke upon a tiny bed
Of straw in one of Terra's smaller towns.

And now the great reduction has begun:
Earthmaker and his Troubadour are one.
And here's the new redeeming melody—
The only song that can set Terra free.

The Shrine of older days must be laid by.
Mankind must see Earthmaker left the sky,
And he is with us. They must concede that I am he.
They must believe the Song or die.

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