O Holey Knight

Swami Z is holding midnight satsang every night until Christmas. It’s a beautiful thing. Larry and Ruin, Rose, and Jim and I make the trip to the satsang room bearing gifts for the baby Jesus, which is being played by Rose’s purse. It was the only thing that proved to be exactly the right size to fit into the impromptu creche that Swami built.

“It’s an irony,” he proclaimed, “that something no bigger than a breadbox should be a breadbox—and an acceptable baby Jesus.” We beheld the pocketbook in dutiful awe, not wanting to acknowledge the emperor had no clothes, so to speak. We knew a dirty little secret. There was a tuna fish sandwich in the baby Jesus.

And there was the wondrous sight of Swami himself, bedecked in bathrobe and cookie crumbs, proclaiming that all souls are one, including Larry’s. I was hoping against hope that Larry would come down with the flu or something, but no such luck. He is a part of the living nativity. He is Mary—so the mullet finally paid off.

Rose and Jim are the two wise persons—short one member, but politically correct. After all, this is not a perfect world. I, thankfully, don’t have to take part in the Living Nativity because I’m the director. I am expecting a call from Spielberg, or at least Jon Stewart, because who knew Christmas could be so edgy. I am reminiscent of Penny Marshall with a megaphone as I holler at Ruin to hang in there.

Ruin, you see, is the star. I have hung him from the pot rack at just the right angle and I patiently point a flashlight at him the whole time. He could just as well be Rudolph because Larry fed him cherry pie in hopes that the comparison would be noted. In that case, we are both a holy and a secular celebration.

From A Guru in the Guest Room by Vicki Woodyard

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