Sarah McLachlan is not God. I am.

The problem with Christmas is doing it. That is, doing all the things you think you need to do in order to make Christmas happen. Frequently, doing these things creates trouble.
Take yesterday, Dec. 23, for example. The trouble began with my trying to upload music to iTunes in order to burn a special CD for Karen, sister to my very significant other, Andrea (said VSO was also in line for her own specially burned disc). Never had a problem with this before, but yesterday my laptop’s CD drive started to whir, click and shudder like a triple-caffeinated squirrel on a treadwheel.
Not only would the thing not upload, it wouldn’t stop whirring even when I shut the laptop down. The screen went nuclear-attack black. Couldn’t eject it. Had the feeling an alien life form had entered my home ingeniously disguised as a Best Buy writable CD.
I abandoned that gift project and decided to buy food for the night’s festivities, which were to include Andrea and I exchanging gifts, toasts and longing gazes.
Then the alien took it up a notch. On my way from the grocery to the wine store my battery light came on. “Indicates battery is not charging properly. Get engine serviced.” Suddenly the NPR narrator cut out like someone was strangling him, then the lights went off. I kept the engine running, thinking I could run in for that special Bowers Harbor wine for Andrea and make it home before the thing conked out.
Not so. It conked out as soon as I tried to leave the parking lot. Got one guy to jump me; it conked again; another young guy jumped me and we let the engine run while we talked about MSU because he had a Spartans sweatshirt on. Kind of a nice Christmas moment there.
Made it to about two blocks from the house and it conked again. Rolling down the road on momentum, nothing working whatsoever. Rolled up in front of the curb and looked around. What the hell do I do now? Too late for a tow because no sane mechanic is open after 5 p.m. on Dec. 23. Asked another guy across the street for another jump.
Another nice conversation, this one about the local elementary school where his kids go and mine went. We discussed the problems of local public schooling while his car poured more juice into mine. Probably the alternator, he said, you’re just running off the battery and that’s why the car keeps breaking down. Good to know. He followed me to my house to make sure I made it this time. Told me the name of a friend mechanic who won’t rip you off. Give him my name, he said. I wrote it down.
The nature of the evening was changing radically. I called Andrea who said she could come get me later, even though the window on our romantic pre-Christmas was closing rapidly. I decided to wrap presents, make myself a cranberry cocktail and put on Sarah McLachlan’s Christmas album. However, for the first time ever, the amplifier did not turn on. It too, kid you not, had conked.
This was the point where I went from the idea of aliens to the idea of God. Really. God was thwarting me at every turn here. You will not be doing technology tonight, Charley, is what he was telling me. Nor will you be going to Andrea’s. Time is running out, you see. I want you to stay put and be quiet and know that I am God. Even though Sarah McLachlan might sound like it at times, she is not God. I am.
So I finished wrapping, Andrea and I rescheduled pre-Christmas romance for sometime during actual Christmas, and I sat in my chair. You know, the one that props up like a lazy boy where I read every morning and every night and sometimes fall asleep in the middle of the night, and which is decorated much like the favorite chair of Frasier’s father, Martin. I just sat there for a minute, and up jumped Melita, my second kitten who routinely drives me insane but sometimes cuddles up to me like she’s Andrea or something.
So we sat there, Melita and I, her purring, me thinking. I several times thought of getting up to do something, or at least start reading, but I did not. I simply sat and thought, about all the Christmas doing I was not doing, and all the lovely silence that was simply there for me to sit inside.
At length I did rise, got a little something to eat and tried the CD uploading one more time. This time it worked. Finished my special CD for Karen and made another one for Andrea. I decided not to try the stereo, however; why push your luck?
Slept well in anticipation of a full Christmas Eve day, somehow rested in the knowledge that I totally did not get to do what I set out to do. As if God said, “Well done busy boy. With you I am well pleased.”
This morning, the TV’s on the fritz.

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2 Responses to Sarah McLachlan is not God. I am.

  1. M says:

    Thanks for this great reminder to slow down and simplify. It came at just the right moment for me.
    I hope all the gremlins have left the building, and that your Christmas was delightful. Love ~Marg

  2. Sue Tracy OP says:

    Whew and wow. I was exhausted just reading the ups, downs, downs, ups, downs, ups, downs of a single day. Gulp and ouch and what can fall next…. still you survived and hopefully even thrived a bit when all the connections of significance came into place in God’s timing…guess that’s why we’re given one breath, blink, swallow and heart beat at a time…. sister Sue

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