Advent conspiracy 16: Eric in his party hat…

Today we welcome a new voice to the conspiracy – Poet Steve Page. I first met him years ago as one of the poets contributing to an anthology. I remember well how his playful use of words impacted me. More recently we have had the pleasure of him staying here, sadly because of the loss of his mother in law and the need to travel to attend her funeral. It was great to spend some time with him talking poetry. Here, Steve’s advent reflection starts with a statue of Eric Morecombe. Who else?

Christmas Past 

I’m sitting in The Lighthouse Cafe in Morecambe Bay.   Looking up from my scrambled eggs I can see Eric Morecambe (dancing of course), silhouetted against a cloudy sky.  Someone has placed a party hat on his head – I’ve no idea whether that’s a permanent feature, but it’s apt as I’m reminded of his TV appearances with Ernie and the laughter that accompanied them from our family sofa.  And so I drift and reminisce.

I know that Advent is a call to anticipate, to look forward into the not yet known chapters that await us.  But I’m also drawn to reminiscence as I anticipate another Christmas while imperfectly recalling Christmases past, a warm childhood, a loud family and Christmas specials like the Morecambe & Wise shows. And it’s in that tension of the push and pull that I find myself once again.

I am grateful for the prompts to think ahead, to place value in the wait, the anticipation of what is in store for me and to perhaps make some plans.  But I’m also grateful for the prompts to remember, to recall the path that brought me here.

Today I’m driving south back home having spent a few days in Scotland to attend my mother in laws’ funeral.  Like a lot of us I feel that I’ve been to too many funerals these past few years, but I must admit that each one has been a prompt to think back and remember, to give thanks and to express love to family and friends.
And each one has also been a prompt to think ahead, to garner more determination to make each year count.

And, not for the first time, I dug around for this old poem:


Remember to think better, 
think further, think deeper and with vigour.
Pepper your remember with colour, with light,
with friends who delight.
Boost your remember with story, with histories,
with cramped group selfies.
And remember your remembers
whenever, wherever you drift off centre.
And there you’ll rediscover your defenders,
your never-surrenders – against all contenders.
Then you’ll remember your forevers.

Bonus  feature:  Harry Nilsson, ‘Remember’

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