This will be my last post for 2011. A couple of weeks ago I managed to catch the second part of a documentary about the legendary rock band Queen called "These Are The Days". One of the most poignant images/footage from this doco was some rare video footage shot of Freddie Mercury during the music video recording of the song "These Are The Days Of Our Lives". By early 1991 Mercury was critically ill as the result of the AIDS virus and rarely had he been seen publicly.
In what I regard as one of the most courageous performances committed to camera, Mercury pulled himself out of bed and shot the video for the song against fairly incredible odds and the result is perhaps one of the most emotional I can think of that I've seen - perhaps ever.
I struggle with Christmas. I don't enjoy it and I usually find that it is a time of considerable stress - mainly due to the nature of my work, which tends to quieten down this time of year. But Christmas to me, was long ago hijacked by commercial interests hell bent on shoving it's - actually their - meaning down our throats. So much so that the real meaning has been lost. I find little to like about Christmas to be honest.
Recently however, I have resolved to observe Christmas more through the eyes of my children and both I and my serioso have constructed a Christmas that is less about the rampant consumerism and vapid commercialism and instead have focused more upon the importance of us as a family unit. We've observed the Christmas story as per the Bible because that's what the core of Christmas is - but it is the importance of love, of remembering the times in your life in which love shone through and nourished you and imparting that love onto your children that is, in my mind the most essential ingredient.
I have to say that, I am more at peace this Christmas than I have been in the past.
But it's to the words of "These Are The Days Of Our Lives" that I have drawn the most meaning in the past couple of weeks and I have found the most comfort in those. The song talks of life and love on their most basic terms and with Mercury's impassioned delivery in his dying days - they say more about what should be at the heart of times like these than any other message could.
Watch the music video below (you may get a message asking you to click through to youtube itself - sorry about that) and just allow yourself to accept the simple message contained therein. It is delivered with an honesty and a full heart and I challenge you not to be moved.
To all of you, I wish you a safe and happy Christmas among those you love the most and I hope the new year brings you serendipity and peace. And, in the words of Dave Allen -
"May your God go with you".