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December 5, 2019
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December 5, 2019

What do you see?

This series of three Advent meditations by Dr Rose-Ann Walker of Santa Rosa Parish, Arima are each informed by a verse in sequence from the popular Christmas song, ‘Do You Hear What I Hear’ but crafted within the context of Catholic faith and tradition.

 

Said the night wind to the little lamb

Do you see what I see

Way up in the sky little lamb

Do you see what I see

A star, a star

Dancing in the night

With a tail as big as a kite

With a tail as big as a kite

 

In an essay entitled ‘Eyes’, the author literally declares that the eyes can’t be trusted. i.

But if the eyes are untrustworthy, is that really beauty in the eyes of the beholder? We who live in a Caribbean where

“[v]isual surprise is natural”ii. —what are we really seeing around us? Are we seeing the star “dancing in the night / with a tail as big as a kite”?

Significantly, such star named Mira, (Latin for ‘wonderful’), was first seen by astronomers as they looked through a NASA space telescope on August 15, 2007, the tail being visible for the first time.iii.

Accordingly, while the star reference in lines 7 and 8 of the verse could be regarded as an allusion to Mira, it also signifies the star of Bethlehem for us Catholic Christians, the tone of lines 1 to 4 underscoring the expectancy that is intrinsic to the Advent season and while entreating us to “see” the salvation of God (Lk 3:6). What do you see?

 

  1. Michael Knight. “Eyes.” Body. Ed. Sharon Sloan Fiffer and Steve Fiffer. New York: 1999. p 2.
  2. Derek Walcott. “the Antilles: Fragments of Epic Memory.” Nobel Lecture. December 7, 1992.

iii. science.nasa.gov A Star with a Comet’s Tail.

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