The Pie
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The Pie

Reconnaissance photo of once-outlawed Nativity crib

Day 3 French Onion Hens

That was Stu’s idea — See below

December 23, 2021

(Link to Day 2…1)

I don’t know about you, but when I think of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” and the Three French hens, my mind goes to both French country and the French Revolution.

Well, as our ongoing convergences here would have it, an art historian recently told me about Nativity cribs that developed in southern France after the French Revolution, when Nativity scenes were banned more severely than now. This, as with most commanded changes, formally or informally, was meant to solve a problem. Zealots tend not to understand the onions involved, as Bug Stu puts it.

The mirroring of zealot minds and machinery on either side of debates about human flourishing (not recognized as such, generally), was enough to make me turn to imaginary friends for good open conversation about this a few years ago. Few want to be called zealots. A few do, and in some contexts and interpretations it’s not a negative. Why compromise on an important great solution when you could have a revolution?

Actually, Bug Stu would say compromise is not the word to use, because that sounds uncommitted and impure in terms of The Cause (generic). He goes the other way and calls The Cause flawed due to its truncated truths. (Stu likes rhymes and alliterations a little too much for me, but we don’t really get to pick our imaginary friends in the way we pick our flesh-and-blood friends. It’s really fine.)

Anyway, when things were forced underground, the Nativity scenes went from being just the manger scene to including a whole little village, mixing Jesus, Mary, and Joseph with more modern characters and village functions. You can see that in the image above. Sorry for the glare, but it wouldn’t have been appropriate for me to remove the bevel glass cover, especially since the owners might see this.

That scene is actually great for depicting our modern, albeit nostalgic, cozy view of Christmas, that is if we’re not opposed on principle. In Stu’s third-to-the-last poem here, he mixes everything I’ve just talked about.

You are talking onions,
but at Christmas pay no heed.
Your layers, and the snares of peddlers’ wares,
are not what tends to lead.
Metaphysical assumptions,
within or in the sky,
are dimly lit, can pause a bit,
as sights touch your
Star Eye.

Four calling birds to three French hens…
Pastoral dreams and village scenes
as wholeness re-begins.
The fullness of your Self includes
what’s under onion skins.

Bug Stu

Thanks for reading.




7th Pie Theory from Bug Stu and Allie Space-Owl. There are six pies represented in the American Economic Tray, and we need a 7th. It leads to a way funner way than the fray we have today — per Stu and Allie. And so long Postmodernism. And hopefully, so long Stralfs.

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T.J. Storey

T.J. Storey

Former teacher, Jeanne’s husband, Brandon’s and Elyse’s dad. No guru/no woo woo. Fan of how-things-work and what it means for our kids, theirs, theirs,…