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Wearing St. Nick's Shoes

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Posted 03-15-2011 at 12:01 AM by jimmyolsen

In the Santa Claus & the North Pole forum, Sanity Clause posed an excellent question. On the first day of March, Sanity asked, "What is Santa up to in March?"

The question drew several solid answers in the first few days.

But we all know the world has changed since then. That made me wonder, how does the man who embodies the spirit of Christmas deal with overwhelming sorrow?

Not so differently from us, I suspect.

I think it's when we're touched by love or joy or grief for our fellow man that we're most like Christ. And it is, after all, the love of Christ that St. Nick delivers to his fellow man.

As I said in the forum, I'm sure St. Nick has a well worn itinerary for March, and I'm sure that, this year, it doesn't apply.

I suspect he's strolling through the greenhouses, tending the trees, mulling over Christmases past, present and future, wondering about the nature of things.

He takes refuge there, I imagine, in days like these, when he needs moments alone, because he doesn't care to let the people who love him see the weight of ages in his eyes. And it's there now. There, and too near the surface to hide.

You see, knowing the light and shadow that dwell in the heart of a man is a gift, but it's also a burden. For not only would you sense their presence, you'd feel their loss.

And the world just lost so many, so suddenly. The emptiness must be too great to bear.

So he walks through the trees. And he weeps. And his thoughts and prayers belong to the people of Japan. Like all of us, he's asking God to heal, to bring comfort and peace. To make them whole again.

I think that's what St. Nick is doing these days, not unlike so many of us.

And like us, I think he'll be doing it for many, many days to come.

That's what I left in the forum comments. So what does this have to do with writing? Some of life's greatest truths are revealed through fiction. But in order to find a truth worth telling, you have to spend time in the head and heart of a character.

In this case, I spent time with St. Nick. I didn't know where the reply was going when I started. I simply borrowed Nick's boots for a bit, and walked a few feet in his shoes.

This is where they lead me--far afield, and well away from anything familiar.

As a writer, you hope to bring insight to your reader. If you're fortunate, the story you tell also holds insight for you.
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  1. Old Comment
    Jimmy, and you have me weeping again. Well said my dear friend xo
    Posted 03-15-2011 at 06:11 AM by caninemom3 caninemom3 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    MerryCarey's Avatar
    I'm sure you're right ... St. Nicholas must surely be suffering sorrow and loss, especially for the lost children. One as kind as he has a tender and generous heart.
    Posted 03-15-2011 at 07:54 AM by MerryCarey MerryCarey is online now
  3. Old Comment
    xmas365's Avatar
    Amazing thought and feeling, I got chills all over while reading it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    Posted 03-15-2011 at 08:46 AM by xmas365 xmas365 is online now
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