Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Melancholy Moment

The scene was surreal. On a chilly December morning, it was breakfast in a hotel restaurant. Away from home in a strange place, my attention vacuumed-in the surroundings.

There were a multitude of simultaneous activities. Out on the city street, pedestrians, bicycles, buses, and taxis went east and west. Inside the restaurant, there was normal waitstaff and self-serve buffet traffic. There were four TV screens in an area the size of a large living room.

The TV screens were muted, but furiously paced. Each of them was tuned to CNN and the images flashed rapidly like a strobe light. The news was of the current economic woes, the latest terrorist activities, and a recent political scandal. The horizontal rolling banner at the bottom of the screen displayed the latest juicy details.

Some folks ignored the screens and were intent on the conversation with their dining companions. Others focused their attention on one of the screens, trying to keep up with keeping up. Dining alone, I scanned a USA Today newspaper. One front page story told how teens and young adults are taking advantage of the latest technology to send nude photos of themselves to each other.

A traditional Christmas song played over the restaurant loud speakers. We might be nearing Christmas, but the lyrics just didn't fit. Like wearing swimming trunks to a black tie affair, they exclaimed with passion, but totally out of context...

"...Oh come let us adore Him...Christ, the Lord!"

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