Saturday, December 24, 2005
Christmas Wish, Christmas Eve, 2005
These days, no one asks me what I want for Christmas. I don't exchange gifts with my brother or sister. Only one person gives me a Christmas gift, and she decides for herself what to get. But, although no one has asked me what I would like, I'm going to tell you anyway. It's a short list. There's only one thing. A Christmas wish list of one. If I could have whatever I wanted for Christmas...
...I'd ask for...
...are you ready?...
...get a pen out...
...I'd ask for...
...(this is it):
Hell to freeze over.
No, wait! I'm serious! All I want is for Hell to freeze over. And I'm not being flip. I. Am. Dead. Serious.
How many times have you heard words like these:
"Loan him money? Hell will freeze over first." (Maybe him is a brother.)
"Hell will freeze over before I give him another chance." (Maybe him is a lover.)
"Talk to her? Ha! When Hell freezes over." (Maybe her is a mother.)
There's so much that is undone, unsaid, unexpressed in this world, waiting for Hell to freeze over. It's a colossal pressure, laced with venom and bitterness, roiling behind a dam: The dam of waiting for Hell to freeze over. I wish it would burst. I wish for a great thundering roaring release of words and emotions and second chances and tears, and even anger. All it would take is for Hell to freeze over.
I'm not naive enough to believe that Hell freezing over will create a world of peace and perfection. It will free people, not change them. The brother who squanders money may still squander that loan that's given him. The lover who cheated may cheat again after being taken back. The abusive mother may still abuse after being approached. But in each case a step will have been taken. Right now the feet are unmoving, waiting, waiting, waiting... for Hell to freeze over. When Hell freezes over they will take a single cathartic step. Once the feet begin to step, who knows where they may go? Who knows what might happen? It can't be worse than the caustic silence of waiting for Hell to freeze over.
Hell freezing over won't solve all the problems of the world. But wouldn't it be a helluva start?