Seeing my dear friend and co-author Joe Boyle’s photo for the first time, my instant thought was “Santa”, and quite a blue one, too. We all know that Santa is wearing red and white, not blue and white, right? So, is a blue Santa still a Santa? Or is he just blue? Or could he be both?
Santa usually carries a big jute sack, too. It’s known to be bulging out in a kind of oval way. The sack contains colorfully wrapped gifts. Has it ever occurred to you that you never see skis peeping out of the top of Santa’s sack? Is it because these are not typical Santa’s gifts? Or does he deliver them separately?
Anyhow, this blue Santa’s burden is square. This is how burdens sometimes come. Square. Not necessarily fair. They are placed onto somebody’s shoulders, and oftentimes you might ask yourself why on theirs and not onto somebody else’s? Because burdens are not fair. But they have to be carried with resilience unless they break your back. This is why this Santa is carrying the square burden with a carrier belt.
This makes a Bible verse pop up in my head: “Bear ye another one’s burden.” Of course, if you do so, the burden weighs down on you, too. To take over some of the load that somebody else’s life is weighted with makes you take responsibility and, to a degree, puts you into this other person’s shoes. Not an easy weight to carry. But we also know that shared pain is half of the pain.
These past twelve and more months have been full of burdens for some people. Some broke. Some soared. Some helped carry the burden. It weighed the latter down, too. It might have made everybody a bit bluer than we are used to. And the world is full of people who need a hand, or rather, a shoulder.
Carrying somebody else’s burden is also a gift. It’s a gift of resilience to the carrier. It’s a gift of love, of support to the one whose burden was lifted, if only a bit. I, therefore, deem blue Santas to be the best kind of Santas there are. They are among us, and they don’t always wear blue. They don’t necessarily stick to one month of the year, but appear outside of December as well. They might look like you yourself. Have a look into your mirror!
Care to read Boyle’s Double Take? Click here.
Joe Boyle, author of the Suburban Times’ column “Westside Story”, and Susanne Bacon, novelist and author of the Suburban Times’ column “Across the Fence”, are sharing their thoughts about a variety of topics in their joint project of double features called “Double Take”. Comments are more than welcome, as they know that the world has more than their two angles – the more the merrier.