For a number of years, the season of Advent and Christmas has been a complicated time for me. Not only do I miss the magic I’m sure we all have experienced as kids, but this longing for something lost also extends into my desire to see the lights and decorations once more. It's not my tendency to “wallow" regarding my lost sight, (I still have so much for which I’m extremely grateful!) but I inevitably feel the sting a bit more during this time.
I’ve also come to realize that my experience is not an isolated one. We all have feelings of regret or nostalgia for something lost as we get older, and that’s okay. I’m finding it’s more about learning to embrace pure joy, even in the midst of trials and hardships. This is admittedly not an easy task.
When I examine what Mary went through as Jesus’ mother, I can’t help but marvel at her ability to accept and fulfill her responsibilities with grace and unwavering faith. Her whole life was completely altered from the moment she learned she'd have a baby out of wedlock all the way to standing there at the cross. This couldn’t have been an easy journey, and I’m astounded at the beauty of this wonderful human and her complete surrender to true and pure joy, no matter the circumstance.
When I sat down to record Silent Night, these were the thoughts going through my head. It is definitely not a "holly jolly" type of Christmas CD, and that was not my intent. My hope was to capture some of the reality of life, growing out of those feelings I had as a child, and also meditating on the complex journey of striving to grow closer to God in the midst of what may seem at times to be insurmountable obstacles. Obstacles found within, as well as obstacles presented by the tragedies we encounter in the world around us.
If you feel you’re in the mood for something a little more contemplative and perhaps want a reprieve from the craziness of this time of year, maybe Silent Night could be a good fit :-).
My hope is that it can accompany those who want to find something more in the Christmas Season experience. Please share if you feel someone you know is looking for something a little different.
Pps. If you happen to be in these neighborhoods, please come through! DEC 8 at Contrapuntal Hall in Los Angeles and DEC 9 at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, CA. Ticket links can be found at www.justinkauflin.com/shows