“Advent” by Scott Cairns

by Kim on December 2, 2012

Well, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas — everywhere, children eyeing the bright lights and colorful goods, traffic a good deal worse than usual, and most adults in view looking a little puzzled, blinking their eyes against the assault of stammering bulbs and public displays of goodwill. We were all embarrassed, frankly, the haves and the have-nots — all of us aware something had gone far wrong with an entire season, something had eluded us. And, well, it was strenuous, trying to recall what it was that had charmed us so, back when we were much smaller and more oblivious than not concerning the weather, mass marketing, the insufficiently hidden faces behind those white beards and other jolly gear. And there was something else: a general diminishment whose symptoms included the Xs in Xmas, shortened tempers, and the aggressive abandon with which most celebrants seemed to push their shiny cars about. All of this seemed to accumulate like wet snow, or like the fog with which our habitual inversion tried to choke us, or to blank us out altogether, so that, of a given night, all that appeared over the mess we had made of the season was what might be described as a nearly obscured radiance, just visible through the gauze, either the moon disguised by a winter veil, or some lost star — isolated, distant, sadly dismissing of us, and of all our expertly managed scene.

Scott Cairns, Compass of Affection (Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2006), p. 59.

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Pam 12.02.12 at 9:34 pm

Poignant reflection. Much appreciated Kim.

I’ve been thinking deeply about my Christmas day fare and would like to share this recipe I’m planning to start off the meal.

Yabby Cocktail (Serves 6)

6 thin slices dark rye bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup tomato relish
1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 kg cooked yabbies peeled
2 baby cos lettuce, finely shredded
lemon wedges, to serve

Preheat oven to 160 degreesC. Grease a baking tray. Place bread in a single layer on prepared tray and brush with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until dry and crisp.
Mix together the tomato relish and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Add the yabby meat and toss to coat in dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide lettuce among serving plates. Top with yabby mixture. Serve with rye croute and lemon wedges.
(If yabbies are unavailable, substitute other freshwater crayfish such as marron or redclaw, or use prawns, bugs, lobster or scampi)

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