Pursuing the poetical, paradoxical, metaphorical, lyrical, artistical, majestical, and mystical.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bundled

No visions of sugar plums danced in his tiny head resting on remnants of hay stubble left over from night feeding. No 
candles welcomed in the windows ~ for stables don't have any. His mother most likely wrapped him with her head covering, leaving her all exposed. Sweat drenched. Unprepared, what did she use for after birth bleeding? Diapers for him? Did he latch on quickly and have a swollen milk blister on his upper lip afterwards? Where did Joseph find nourishment for her? Did he borrow the animal's drinking water to clean up the mess? Did she tear?  Without women to care for her, Joseph had to take the culturally unfamiliar role of midwife and doula for a wife with whom he hadn't been physically intimate with yet. His rough carpenter hands baby catching? The crown of thorns was waiting in the wings instead of a Nutcracker.  Maybe the tree was growing even then to be hewn into a cross as he cooed. The blacksmith who hammered the spikes into shape might have been a baby at the same time. A weaver's young apprentice  honed his skill making robes without seams. One this baby would someday wear ~ making men cast lots to own it ~ when they assumed he wouldn't need it anymore. He was laid in a stone manger swaddled with cloth at birth. He was laid on a borrowed limestone burial shelf after his death, wrapped in cloth once again, ministered to by women winding their love around him. Women who watched their love left in a heap, for he didn't stay a baby, nor did he stay dead. Instead he stayed God, wrapping us up ~ folding us into ~ a bundle of love, forever and ever. Amen. 



(Please don't judge this sketch harshly. I've been picking up a pencil for the first time in thirty five years. I never had lessons and wish I could express what I see in my head better. Until then, I will practice the uncomfortable, rough way. I have such a heart for Joseph. He is probably the most overlooked hero scripture mentions. I imagine his hands, so rough and tender. To me, his faith was the greatest of any. I imagined the pageantry of our present day Christmas and the lack thereof on that morning.)

This is for a prompt from L.L. Barkat: "This holiday season, we invite you to take the big things of Christmas - family, grief, Christ, celebration, laughter - and share them with us through something small." Join us by sharing your link here

20 comments:

katdish said...

Beautiful post, Kathleen. I've often wondered some of the same things myself. And I think the sketch is wonderful--the images in the center very moving.

S. Etole said...

This is heart-striking ...

Maureen said...

I echo Kathy and Susan. This is lovely. To imagine what Joseph might have said....

And your sketch is excellent.

Tea Girl said...

Compelling--on so many levels. I'll be thinking about your words. . .

Anonymous said...

Very moving and thoughtfully written, all so true. please keep sketching, I do see talent waiting to blossom.
Goodnight
Mom

drw@bainbridge.net said...

I love this drawing; no need to apologize AT ALL. Wonderful post, too -- but not quite as risky as the drawing. Thank you for being willing to share so vulnerably with us.

Lyla Lindquist said...

I need to sit down.

That tree growing in the forest somewhere. I catch my breath.

(And as for Joseph? Yes. Sometime, track down Todd Agnew's "Do You See What I See" Christmas album and listen to Joseph's song, "This is All I Have to Give." I can't find it online to give you a link to listen to the whole thing - but I think you'd like.

amy said...

this is amazing. your insight so pure and your drawing so breathtaking. thank you so much.

L.L. Barkat said...

The drawing is especially poignant. I like how it layers expressions.

And that idea of the blacksmith having been a baby at the same time. Something so deep about that.

Kathleen Overby said...

Thank you all for seeing it with me. Hugs.

dianne said...

this is wonderful. it speaks of the already but not yet. and i love the drawing. thanks for being willing to share your art and your words. (\as a wannabe artist myself, i get the hesitancy to share but this seems like a safe community in with to do so!

M.L. Gallagher said...

I too think the drawing is powerful and moving.

and the post -- exceptional. Like you. Exceptional. Amazing. Powerful. Beautiful and true.

Deidra said...

Oh, wow!
The words.
The drawing.
You have opened up a beautiful gift for us here.

Laura said...

Oh, Kathleen! That drawing is amazing. And these...ponderings...I am speechless. So many questions. I hope one day, we all get to sit around the fireplace with Mary and Joseph and they tell us the story. I bet we might be surprised by some of the details.

A Simple Country Girl said...

Miss Kathleen. I will be back. Again. This is really a gift.

Your words,
your art,
your heart,
and His Truth.

And praise GOD, that sweet baby Jesus came back for us all!

Blessings.

David Rupert said...

Really an inspiring image about the day of our Lord's arrival. Love the vision of Joseph's 'baby catching hands'

Monica Sharman said...

Oh, I sure hope she didn't tear.

You give me so much to ponder. I never thought before about Joseph being midwife even though he had not yet been physically intimate with her.

Melissa Campbell said...

I have often thought of the harsh realities of the Christmas story. We so often live in the romantic, and expect our lives to be the same. God never promised Disneyland. But He gives us all extravagant grace to make it through. Thank you for sharing. Your sketch is stunning! Blessings.

jen revved said...

This is so very unique and moving. So much written about the nativity isn't fresh as a piece of writing: this is! xxJenne'

Grandma Pam said...

Kathleen - This, my friend, is beautiful. Can I have permission from you to copy this and use it as my Christmas letter next year? Merry Christmas, thank you for this gift. Pam