I am not knitting, because I sliced my hand open, right at the base of my thumb. Spurred on by That Man’s story of a woman in his hometown who died of tetanus, I went and had a tetanus shot. The nurse assured me that I could do without stitches. My husband, who is a machinist and therefore well versed in these things, bought the right kind of Band-Aids and fixed it up for me. However, knitting is still beyond me.

That’s okay. It feels odd to sit with idle hands, but I have little sitting to do. Today I must get my Christmas cards mailed, make cioppino for the store potluck, order the Christmas Eve feast from the butcher and baker, go to the last Messiah rehearsal, then to the above-mentioned potluck, make something for tomorrow’s church potluck breakfast, fix a turkey dinner, and catch up on my baking. Tomorrow is the breakfast, the performance of Messiah, and candymaking. One more performance on Monday, and we’ll all finish making the grandparents’ gifts (had to wait till #2 daughter got home for that, of course). From there on, all is fun and frolic. For that matter, all these tasks will be fun and frolic in and of themselves.

Yesterday I overheard a customer saying, in a long-suffering voice, “I don’t mind the occasional chant –” and I hope you don’t either, because I have another beautiful and austere hymn to remind us that we are still in Advent and the feast days have not yet begun. “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” a plainsong which has evolved from 5th century beginnings, is the oldest song we have sung so far this season. Different people take it at different speeds. Here is a site with the words (helpfully broken up) and a midi that goes at quite a clip:

http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/Hymns/otflb.htm

The words were written in Latin by a Spaniard around 400 AD, adapted in the 9th and 11th centuries to fit changing theology and liturgical practices, and translated repeatedly in the 19th and 20th centuries, with current versions usually taking a little bit from each. The tune, “Divinum Mysterium,” is roughly 12th century, found in both Italy and Germany by the 13th century. The beauty of the result is timeless. This is perfect a capella, handy for those travelling now that classes are over.