Tanya Davis's Love As Well As Gifts poem explores complex side of Christmas
Davis read poem during CBC Halifax's Information Morning show in support of Feed Nova Scotia
Christmas isn't all joyful glee. Many people experience loneliness and sadness — a stark contrast of what the holiday is meant to represent.
Singer, songwriter, actress and Halifax's former poet laureate, Tanya Davis, hoped to capture that contrast in Love As Well As Gifts, which she read during CBC Halifax's Information Morning annual radio show in support of Feed Nova Scotia.
Davis, who does not celebrate Christmas, describes it is a complex time of year.
"[It's] very emotional. More melancholy than joyful for me at least, and I don't think I'm alone in that and I think that there's a lot of things to talk about," Davis said.
Even those who don't celebrate Christmas can often get caught in the seasonal hustle and bustle, she says. Not all families can be joyful through a season that isn't always "all white and fluffy," she says, which makes her "fascinated with the subject."
"This makes it a good time for people to ramp up efforts to raise fund for others who are less fortunate," she said.
"How sad the world is and the things we're having to do right now, like welcome a lot of refugees. It's so good we can, and it's so bad that we have to."
Love As Well As Gifts
by Tanya Davis
What if angels were just people having generous days
and the realms of glory were all the world's corners from which they came
and the night was silent 'cause no one was crying out in loneliness or pain?
What if coming home for christmas meant you never had to run again
and no bombs dropped and there really were good kings
and all ye faithful came together while having faith in different things.
What if the most wonderful day of the year
was 'cause peace on earth was finally here
no matter what or where we sing
This is my resilient daydream
I call it: joy to the world
I have it all year long
while I make my way through the world
I am not that strong
I crumble often from the truth
like the fact that guns and bombs are still lawful things we use
and there's too much yet there's not enough food
and still the void we're aching with – the pain, the love, the wound
Meanwhile empty tables
meanwhile we sing carols preaching morals that we're scared of
we are wary more of strangers, giving gifts while building walls
It's a host of contradictions and christmas won't fix it
I crave connection as I close off to it.
Can you see me?
Do you hear what I hear, it's the sadness of humanity
it's the basic human joy
it's the bonds thereof, it's the bombs of lost love
once we all have love enough – o holy night
And by the sun's returning shine I trust we will
in the meantime let us align our hearts with our goodwill
open arms for strangers seeking refuge in our midst
while welcoming our neighbours with love as well as gifts.