Advent: A Poem & Sondheim

Advent: a time of renewal, reconciliation, and moving forward.

Suddenly my Lord was speaking: “My name is I Am.” He paused. I waited. He continued, “When you live in the past, with its mistakes and regrets, t is hard. I was not there. My name is not I WAS. When you live in the future with its problems and fears, it is hard. I am not there. My name is not I WILL BE. When you live in this moment it is not hard. I am here. My name is I AM.”
(Helen Mallicoat)

Mine today is a musical reflection only without the music. Broadway composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim passed away last week. Here are excerpts from four of his songs for your Advent reflection.

Sometimes people leave you, Do not let it grieve you, No one leaves for good. You are not alone. No one is alone. Hold [tight] to the light now…see the glow. Things will be alright now. [Ask me how I know!]

No one here to guide you, now you’re on your own…still you’re not alone, no one is alone, truly no one is alone. Sometimes people leave you…others may deceive you, you decide what’s good…People make mistakes…holding to their own, thinking they’re alone. Honor their mistakes, everybody makes, one another’s terrible mistakes…just remember [our present society] someone is on your side, someone else is not. While you’re seeing your side maybe you forgot, they are not alone, truly no one is alone.

I chose, and my world was shaken, So what? The choice may have been mistaken but the choosing was not, You have to move on. You have to move on…

No more riddles, No more jests, No more curses, No more quests, No more feelings. Time to shut the door…just, no more. Stop worrying where you’re going, Move on, If you can know where you’re going, You’ve gone…Just keep moving on…

You are not alone. No one is alone. Hold [tight] to the light now…see the glow. Things will be alright now. [Ask me how I know!]

Running away, let’s do it, Free from the ties that bind, No more despair, or burdens to bear, Out there in the yonder, Running away, go to it, Where did you have in mind? Have to take care…unless there’s a ‘where’, You’ll only be wandering blind, Just more questions…different kind. Where are we to go? Where are we ever to go?, Running away, we’ll do it. Why sit around, resigned? Trouble is, son, the farther you run, The more you’ll feel undefined, For what you have left undone, and more what you’ve left behind.

Could be, who knows? There’s something due any day, I would know right away soon as it shows, It may come cannon balling down through the sky, Gleam in its eye, bright as a rose

Who knows? It’s only just out of reach, Down the block on a beach under a tree, I got a feeling there’s a miracle due, Gonna come true, coming to me

Could it be? Yes, it could, Something’s coming, something good if I can wait, Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is, But it is gonna be great

With a click, with a shock, Phone’ll jingle, door’ll knock, open the latch, Something’s coming, don’t know when but it’s soon, Catch the moon, one handed catch

Will it be? Yes it will, Maybe just by holding still, it’ll be there, Come on, something, come on in, don’t be shy

Wishes are children. Careful before you say, listen to me. [Others] will listen. Careful the wish you make, Wishes are children Careful the path you take, Wishes come true. Not free.
Careful the spell you cast, Sometimes the spell may last, Past what you can see, And turn against you. Careful the tale you tell, That is the spell…

You are not alone. No one is alone. Hold [tight] to the light now…see the glow. Things will be alright now. [Just ask me how I know!]

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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