for Christmas mass this year,
we went to our local church
made of red brick and village gossip.
everything went as usual
to the point where leaving the club
still seemed to be the most sensible option.
not even the organ was playing along very merrily,
even though its date was female.
but then, all of the sudden, to the surprise of us all,
the old priest (is there any other kind?!)
took out his old radio player, hit play
and introduced the entire congregation to his favorite song.
the tune was probably from the 80s
and his singing training probably from the shower.
but, with every stanza that he firmly presented to us
in spite of Parkinson’s pains,
the situation slowly got turned around.
ostensibly, the man was touched by something
that didn’t per se touch anyone else in the pews,
but I was moved by his being moved
and that moment was real.
so — even if my Eve didn’t involve a baby born
in the midst of a revolution against a regime,
it involved inspiration growing from the dark.
and what could be more real
to a beginner in this life
than true vulnerability
shown by a representative from the most stoned artefact.
the moment was embarrassingly small at first,
later potently real
and certainly suitably embedded
in a neighbourhood of the only Americans
who came to attend the service
and sat down next to me.
the three of us
bonded over the fact that we all
are strangers in this place
but that inspiration, when it strolls by,
looks like this:
an old tune
sung out of the dusty radio
of a lonely man
to the sea of searching souls
in the middle of the night.