Merry Christmas one and all and a happy 2016
Well it’s that time of the year again; Christmas and New Year, and whether you are Christian, a westernized Muslim, a non-conformist antiestablishment anarchist or a sentimental fool such as myself, it’s difficult to escape the collective cultural experience that seems ubiquitous here in the West every December.
Christmas is full of nostalgia and deep with beauty for me, though certainly not without a deep sense of all things bittersweet.
I have such beautiful memories of childhood, the magic and the wonder of Christmas including; the smell of fresh pine through out the house, dressing the Christmas Tree in tinsel and other eye catching decorations including that special glimmering star on the treetop, the cookies, milk and beer left out for Santa and his helpers Christmas Eve, the sound of Christmas Carols sung in beautiful harmony, Christmas lights and walking along The Boulevard in Ivanhoe East, The Myer Bourke St Window, the magic of unwrapping presents from Santa, yummy food and above all else: the faces of my family - some of which have since departed.
If you are privileged enough this Christmas to wake up safe in your own warm home, surrounded by the ones you love; if someone has been so generous as to buy or make you a gift, or cook you meal, then give thanks and be sure to celebrate and share the joy with others.
There will be many this and every Christmas who will be alone or feeling alone as they make their way through the day. There will by those praying for a loved one in a hospital bed, there will be those praying for better health or that they may live a little longer to see their loved ones grow, some will go without a meal, many will be homeless, some will be in Refugee camps praying for a better life for their children, some will be heartbroken and longing for their lover to return, some will be in aged care missing their life long partners or family homes, many will be missing someone dear to them, some will be estranged from their families, some will praying for the horrors of War to end, for others it will be drought or famine or fighting some Goliath Gas Company who is trying to lay claim to the resources beneath their farms. Some will attend Church, some others will be cynical and remind you that contemporary Santa is a piece of Coca Cola marketing genius and that Christmas has more to do with the promotion of unfettered consumerism than it does the Celebration of the birth of baby Jesus, the Son of God. Some will remind you of the Winter Solstice and the birth of the Sun in the womb of Winter and that many other deities share the birth date of the 25th of December. Some will tribute the day to the ability of Christianity to devour and appropriate the rituals of those they displaced and rebranded as their own, but whatever the day means to you, you will feel it’s collective power. This year being a full moon at Christmas might even amplify some collective reflection as we ready ourselves to birth another calendar year. Reflection of the year that has past and all we have learnt, lost and gained, and reflection of the year ahead and all it promises to be.
There will be hope, hope for the future, just as the far North in constant darkness will long for the Sun’s return and the lotus flower will begin its climb toward the light from the darkness and mud at the bottom of a pond, or new parents full of hope for their newborn will delight in their baby’s joyous expressions- there will be hope. Sadly though there will also be hopelessness. There will be those who will commit suicide and those who will attempt; there will be those alone and deeply depressed who feel the day only amplifies their misery, and those longing for a loved one, or longing to feel special, longing to the star on the treetop or a star in your night, that somehow by pleasing you they will feel closer and more connected, they will somehow feel more alive, just by existing in your eyes or your heart they will feel somehow more complete. Be sure to be generous and share your good fortunes and wherever possible include others less fortunate in your celebrations and feasts. Enjoy the all the wonders and treasure of giving and receiving that life is full of – the greatest gift any of us can receive is gratitude for life itself. If you’re religious, remember for Christ to be born, Adam and Eve had first to fall, forgive those who have wronged and may they too have their chance at redemption- reach out to those who may be feeling alone.
I’ll be missing my Mum and Brother this year amongst a myriad of other feelings. I’ll be feeling deeply grateful for the love in my life and for my friendships.
I’ll be reflective and so I’m sending out this love song dedication to all those who are struggling in some silent night of loneliness or despair – your existence, your struggle and your longing make you beautiful – take another step toward the light – this darkness will pass.
This video/song was recorded back in May at Phat Majik Studios by Hamish Gordon and filmed by Amy Hoogenboom and Sal Castro. The song itself is from the double album ‘Letting Go’. It has been an eventful year at Andy Jans-Brown & Cozmic including the launch and tour of our follow up double album, ‘Sunshine Avenue’, a trip to the USA to play at The Indie Entertainment Summit, inclusion in The Caloundra Music Festival, the birth of Abel Tweedie, a couple of Weddings and of course the pregnancy of Cassie Rose, who is due now any tick of the clock and was experiencing morning sickness at the time of this gig and subsequently performed her parts in overdub. A wonderful and memorable year all in all for which I give eternal thanks.
Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a fantabulous 2016.