We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

-Journey of the Magi, T.S. Eliot


Twelfth day of Christmas

Reposting one of my favorite photographs. I don’t do this with my own work very often, but something about the colors and composition of this photograph are always fascinating to me.


Belated eleventh day of Christmas

Taken by my wife of our (non-breakable, child-proofed) Christmas tree:


Ornament turned by my grandfather, one to the right made by my aunt many years ago.

Tenth day of Christmas

One of the more poetic Christmas carols, In the Bleak Midwinter.

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Seventh day of Christmas

The Candle Song

Like a candle flame
Flick’ring small
in our darkness,
uncreated light
shines through infant eyes.

Sixth day of Christmas

Good King Wenceslas

Therefore, Christian men, be sure,
Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor,
Shall yourselves find blessing.

Fifth day of Christmas

Mary in the stable

TITLE: 耶穌誕生 1 (The Birth of Jesus 1, The Nativity)
ARTIST: 華效先 (Hua Xiaoxian, Luke Hua Hsiao-hsien)
INSCRIPTION(S): 天主慶賀吾主耶穌聖誕圖; 路加華效先; 北平廣安門聖心堂美術部出品 (God Celebrates the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus; Luke Hua Xiaoxian; A product of the Beiping Guang’anmen Sacred Heart Church Fine Arts Department)
MEDIUM: Chinese watercolor on silk; mounted as hanging scroll
DESCRIPTION: Mary and Joseph surround the newborn Jesus lying in the manger, attended by angels playing traditional Chinese instruments; viewed from outside the cave.
DIMENSIONS: (Painting [Mounting]) 58×122 cm [70×175 cm]


Fourth day of Christmas

Of the Father’s Heart Begotten

Let the storm and summer sunshine,
Gliding stream and sounding shore,
Sea and forest, frost and zephyr,
Day and night their Lord adore;
Let creation join to laud thee
Through the ages evermore,
Evermore and evermore.

Third day of Christmas

Earth was waiting, spent and restless (William Chalmers Smith)

Earth was waiting, spent and restless
with a mingled hope and fear
faithful men and women praying,
“Surely, Lord, the day is near:
the desire of all nations —
it is time he should appear!”

Second day of Christmas

Lo! He comes with clouds descending (Charles Wesley and John Cennick)

Lo! He comes with clouds descending,
Once for favored sinners slain;
Thousand thousand saints attending
Swell the triumph of his train:
God appears on Earth to reign.