A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Christmas Carol!

Tonight some friends invited me over to read "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens - we read an entire play version and it was a really fun experience.  Actually, the sad part is that I kind of identify with Scrooge.

Here is how Dickens describes Scrooge's manners toward others:
"Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, 'My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?' No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o'clock no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge. Even the blind men's dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then would wag their tails as though they said, 'No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!' But what did Scrooge care? It was the very thing he liked. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life, warning all human sympathy to keep its distance, was what the knowing ones call 'nuts' to Scrooge."
Generally I like to "edge my way along the crowded paths of life."  When in a large group of people, the deep introverted person inside me wants to edge along the wall and out the door, or fall through the floor.  I tend to overcompensate for this by being incredibly awkward, so hopefully I'm not as misanthropic about it as Scrooge, but I can empathize with the desire to "warn all human sympathy to keep its distance."  I like being alone.

Here's another quote that ties in with the "light" theme.  The words are from the ghost of Jacob Marley:
"At this time of the rolling year...I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me?"
For me it is easy to walk with my head turned down - I kind of prefer it.  It takes courage to ask for inspiration to know which "poor abode" we should visit to help.  It takes even more courage to actually do it - to raise people to the blessed Star.  But that is a marvelous light to follow - and we should look up and be inspired by it!

Here's a great hymn about the wise men (although it does have perhaps the strangest lyric ever about Christ, calling him the "wondrous little stranger"!)

P.S.  You can (and should!) read the whole text of A Christmas Carol here.

1 comment:

  1. UVA Library Electronic Text Center FTW! :) I've actually never read it, and it's one of my goals this year. I probably won't get to it before finals end, but hold me to reading it before Christmas at home, OK??