Sitting Twenty

Musings of the Hopeful

Lit made an appointment to catch up with Christmas Carol and Holly Sprig. He also invited Everett Green, who showed up for a few minutes, but then had to “leaf”—which left a trio of friends. Lit provided the light, the color, the illumination for the season; Christmas Carol, the soundtrack, and Holly Sprig was the gorgeous vine, green with promise and red with richness.

There was a bit of anxiety for this year was quite different. Normally there were those who wanted to be “lit, sung into happiness or decorated with holly”—and those who didn’t. But this year, blessing had been scared away by the common cursing.

“I just don’t understand it,” said Christmas Carol. “I feel like I’m still offering great tunes, words, instrumentation and singers, so that the whole world, for a few moments, can close its mind to bitterness, and at least consider betterment.”

“I know exactly what you mean,” said Holly Sprig. “Interest seems way down. There was a little girl just the other day who turned to her mother, pointed at me and said, ‘what’s that?’ Would you listen? The little girl didn’t even know what holly was.”

“I’m with you, too,” said Lit. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked any harder to use my incandescent personality to dazzle the eyeballs of these mortals. But it seems they just put together television shows where they compete for the most bulbs without enjoying the light.”

“Well, I wanted to talk to the two of you,” said Christmas Carol, “because the others in the spirit world are all involved in their own things—presents and manger scenes—and it’s always fallen our lot to carry the brunt of creating the exhilaration of Christmas.”

“Don’t forget,” said Lit, “I provided the Star that helped get this whole thing started.”

“Well, I got the angels to sing,” said Christmas Carol.

Holly Sprig drooped. “I wasn’t around for the first one, but I’ve done okay…”

“You certainly have,” sang Christmas Carol.

“If you’ll let me speak,” said Lit, “I want to point out an important fact. It is not the reaction that we must be concerned about, but instead, our portion. Conclusions come, conclusions go, and are never complete until all is said and done.”

He continued. “All three of us know that a season that begins with indifference can often end in the greatest glee.”

“I remember,” said Christmas Carol, “back in World War II, in the dark days after Pearl Harbor, that no one seemed to want to have Christmas. But then, when they realized that their sons and their husbands would be shipping off to war it made the fire, the tree and the songs become even more important.”

Holly Sprig giggled like a child. “I remember that, too—so well. They hung holly everywhere! I was very popular.”

Lit beamed a smile. “And for a brief moment, while the world was thrown into darkness, people chased the light. So, my point,” he continued, “is that we should not give up. We must not grow weary in our well-doing.”

“Here-here,” said Christmas Carol. “Joy to the world, for the Lord did come. So, we should let heaven and Earth sing.”

“I’m going to try to make my berries redder,” Holly Sprig joined in. “I don’t know how I would do that, but I shall try.”

Christmas Carol chimed, “And I will work on my harmonies. Richer, fuller—praying that the memories of the lyrics will stir the hearts of those grown, to remember what they were as children.”

“My job’s easy,” said Lit. “I’ll just keep lighting up the world.”

The three of them were still inwardly concerned, but greatly uplifted by the fellowship. Whenever Holly Sprig joined with Christmas Carol, and included Lit, they became a beautiful trinity of Christmas hope, and the world became a better place.


Sitting Twenty-One

The Go Must Show On

Golda was going to scream if one more grown-up uttered the words, “Next year…”

She sat in meetings with Charrleen, producers, musicians and technicians, discussing her play, which she was now writing with Charrleen. The writing sessions were amazing. It was like Golda and Charrleen shared a common soul, which released inspiration to a shared brain and spoke from a single tongue.

Golda was invigorated, entranced with the closeness she felt with this popular singer. Charrleen was astounded at the talent the young girl had—almost a supernatural awareness of rhythm, rhyme, melody and harmony. The girl’s lyrics were simple, but catchy, and easy to access. They weren’t childish—just available. Playful but thoughtful.

The pair had written eight songs in less than a week. Charrleen had gotten permission from Golda’s parents to have the little girl come to her penthouse for an extended visit. Charrleen had a full studio, with every instrument you could imagine—at least that’s how Golda saw it.

But now the music was written, the scenes were sketched out and some of the choreography was even completed and ready for review. But the meeting about when to do the performance had bogged down, and the investors and those who were more practical were insisting that it was “much too quick to do it this year, but by next year they could turn it into an international extravaganza.”

It was December 1st. The country was in turmoil. The world was trying to wrangle its way into a new war. Golda thought it was stupid to withhold the blessing of her musical—of their musical—until next year.

She was a little disappointed in Charrleen because Charrleen tried to compromise and adjust to what the executives were saying. This was no time for compromise. It was not the season to ignore the season. The world needed the musical—now. And it needed to be performed on Broadway, live, Christmas Eve, and filmed for all the world to see. Golda saw it clearly in her mind.

The discussion would probably have gone on for many more hours, and the grown-up naysayers would have worn Golda down and forced her to consider a 365-day delay. But suddenly, out of the clear blue, Charrleen spouted off. “Well, if you ladies and gentlemen do not want to fund this, I will do it myself.”

Golda’s wanted to cheer so badly that she did. The meeting had droned on for two hours. Charrleen’s accountant nearly dropped his educated pencil. He objected, which he felt it was his duty to do. “Even though what I have seen looks really good,” he said, “everyone knows it could still be a disaster. And then, you would be left holding the bag, Charrleen.”

Charrleen shook her head vigorously. “Since I’m holding the bag anyway, if it’s successful, won’t my bag get bigger?”

The accountant thought for a moment and then smirked. “Well, yes,” he acquiesced. “Then there’s that.”

The others at the table, realizing that Charrleen was going to take on the project with or without them, and that they had found the “Golda goose,” decided to sign on the dotted line.

Golda learned a new phrase. “They inked a deal.” It was a done deal. Rehearsals were set—a short clock demanding day and night work—but it was totally possible that every facet of the project could be ready by December 24th.

What was difficult was deciding which Broadway theater to use. One of the bold investors (who just moments before had frosty feet) popped up and said, “Madison Square Garden.”

This pleased everyone. It opened the door to thousands more ticket sales, which would certainly help the bottom line. As it turned out, after making a quick phone call, Madison Square Garden was booked, but one of the investors bought out the client who had rented the facility. All at once, Golda’s play, which Charrleen decided should be entitled, “The Great Jubilation of Christmas”—well, it was in full swing.

Everyone was hugging everyone and everything. If the spirit in the room was anything like what the performance was going to be, then the production would ring with success and explode with opportunity.

Charrleen and Golda went back to the penthouse to celebrate. Since Golda was underage, champagne was out of the question, so they had her favorite—A&W root beer and egg rolls.

Right in the middle of their private party, there was a knock at the door—a man in a lime green jogging suit made more popular in the 1980’s, handing Charrleen an envelope. He quietly said, “You’ve been served.”

Charrleen took the envelope from the gentleman as he turned and walked quickly away. She closed the door and headed to the couch. She opened it and glanced at it quickly, unfamiliar with all the legal jargon, but still realized she was being sued by Dunlevy and Markins for breach of contract.

She promptly called her lawyer, who explained that he had received the documents as well. Summing it up in a nutshell, the company was asserting that Charrleen had ceased to be a representative for the “Great Jubilation” campaign, and had launched in her own direction, failing to represent the cause and creating national embarrassment in an interview.

They were suing her for thirty million dollars.

Charrleen sat down next to Golda, who realized something was wrong. She’d overhead the conversation with the attorney but couldn’t figure out what anything meant. She patted Charrleen on the shoulder. “It’s gonna be all right,” she comforted.

Charrleen turned to her and said, “Well, sweetie, not everything works out all right.”

“What’s the problem?” asked Golda. “Why does the paper make you so sad?”

The tenderness of Golda’s voice and her gentle touch broke Charrleen’s heart. Her eyes flooded with tears. Charrleen was just trying to do what was right, and now she was being threatened to lose everything she had.

“I’m being sued, Golda,” she said softly. “What that means is that the company that hired me to do the song thinks that I have cheated them and that I haven’t been a good representative for their cause.”

“That’s a lot of words,” said Golda. “But maybe you’ve just decided to be a representative…is that the word?” Charrleen nodded with a smile.

“A representative for a better cause,” Golda finished with conviction.

Charrleen had to laugh. Everything in the world was so much easier when you were twelve years old. Well, nearly twelve. Golda hugged her arm. “Does this mean we’re not going to do the play?”

Charrleen embraced Golda and kissed her on the head. “No, my dear. It means we’re going to do the best play that has ever, ever, ever, ever been done.”

Every afternoon from now until Christmas we will be posting sittings from the story, “Jubilators,” for your enjoyment. Good reading and Merry Christmas!

Published by Jonathan Cring