May There Be Peace on Earth

holiday meme

Someday soon we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, we’ll muddle through somehow.*

*Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (lyrics by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane, 1944)

I recommend the article Have Yourself a Merry Little 2017 by Bruce Handy in the New York Times. Handy reflects on the meaning and relevance of the holiday song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” made popular in 1944 when Judy Garland sang it with altered lyrics in the movie “Meet Me in Saint Louis.” I wondered why the song circled in my head this year with unusual persistence. Until I read Handy’s article, I hadn’t remembered the original lyrics or significance.

Thank you for reading my posts in 2016 and strengthening our connection with comments and reflections. What a precious gift you give.

May everyone on this Earth have a Blessed and Peaceful 2017


  1. Just read the link to the Handy article. Until now, I’ve always thought the song a happy one, overlooking the muddle inherent in the lyrics. There is a bit of synchronicity in the link to a melancholy song in my post tomorrow.

    Your readers, especially the commenters, appreciate your steady gifts of time and effort composing each post this year. A blessed and peaceful 2017 to you too, Elaine.

    • Thank you, Marian, for always being here and there. May there be peace and blessings on Earth and in your home.

      The song became a Christmas staple, so I didn’t remember details of the lyrics either until I read Handy’s article. Even though the lyrics were softened for ‘Meet Me in St. Louis,’ the poignant longing of war time came through in Judy Garland’s voice. In 1944 (a year before my birth), it wasn’t clear how World War II would end. My dad was a merchant marine who enlisted in merchant marines so he wouldn’t have to shoot anyone. Every time he left port there was danger of his supply ship being blasted. The world was exhausted and didn’t know half the horror that had happened in Germany. We muddled through. May we muddle through again.

  2. Wishing you a beautiful holiday season with loved ones Elaine and a New year filled with love, peace, health and prosperity. <3

  3. ‘Muddling through somehow’ after such a turbulent, chaotic year that 2016 has been, is probably the best that many of us can manage at the moment. Thank you so much for bringing to light Handy’s rich, insightful post. I really enjoyed reading and reflecting on the song’s original lyrics.

    Here at the end of the year I’m left contemplating these words by Mother Teresa, “In this life we cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” Encouragingly, these words are enough, more than enough to help my heart muddle through the next twelve months.

    Thank you so much Elaine for being the inspirational soul that you are, and for sharing the love and warmth of your own patient, kind and tolerant heart. Love, light and laughter, Deborah.

    • Deborah, I wish I had all those qualities you name, but don’t feel a bit patient with my country and our macho romance with war. I’m also impatient with the aging process and damaged hearing which is a constant struggle since listening leads to dizziness. (I’m grateful for the written word.) I read a piece about choosing a one word New Year’s Resolution. Like a mantra, it brings the mind around to one word simple word or phrase. “Patience” might be the right word for me. It covers many of my shortcomings.

      Your quote from Mother Teresa is a favorite. Mother Teresa’s autobiography was an eye opener for me. Even this saint wasn’t patient or saintly all the time, but she was stubborn and determined to help others despite her own inner torment.

      Thank you for sharing a poem last week. I hope your Muse visits many times in 2017. We need her. Blessed and Peaceful New Year to you and yours.

  4. ‘Patience’ yes, that’s a wonderful New Year mantra for me too! Inspirational muse that you are Elaine, you’ve even provided me with the title of my next poem ‘Land of the Smoking Fire’… and as for sainthood?! Bah humbug! I’m much more comfortable in life’s ‘keeping it real camp’ that’s why I loved your book so much with its beauty, pain, love and honesty! Blessings always, Deborah.

    • I don’t understand why I provided you with that compelling title, Deborah, but if it feels connected with me, I’m happy. I need a title or two myself, so if we’re exchanging Muses, send one my way–one arising from your smoking fire.

  5. Yep. Muddling through. Elaine, I loved reading about the song which, like Silent Night, happens to be one of my triggers. Worried about the country, worried about my son in Iraq, worried about whether or not to forge ahead on my manuscript – and now I’ve got Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas stuck in my head. This is almost, but not quite, as grating as listening to our president elect. But I’m wishing you an amazing New Year, as well as peace and light. Hoping to meet up with you again soon in the middle of the muddle, and maybe we can commiserate. It’s gonna be an interesting time anyway.

    • Since Thanksgiving, I’ve heard that dumb (I previously judged) Christmas song floating through my head. I never liked it, so there it was to irritate. Couldn’t I hear a beautiful hymn or a Handel piece? I judged myself harshly until I read Handy’s article and got the relevance and poignancy of the lyrics. When I feel at the end of my rope, I sing those three lines ending in “We’ll muddle through somehow…” I’m sorry you caught the song like it’s a cold.

      I can’t imagine how hard it is to have a son or daughter in Iraq, Robin. Warrior’s moms pay a heavy price. I hope he’s home soon. Let’s take a walk. The trails have just a little snow at the moment, but that may not last long. I’m not sure how Suki does with this level of cold.

  6. Thanks so much Elaine. The back story was most interesting. Muddling through – through the mud. Sometimes it seems like this – I immediately recall the hike down Mt. Kilimanjaro – after summiting it. Somehow I’d forgotten that when you get to the top (of anything, in my case the mountain) you have to get or come down again. Coming down was so unbelievably difficult. Patience in traversing the slippery slidy treacherous mud called up every ounce of virtually non-existent patience within me.

    I remember a very long time ago receiving some wise advice – be patient. A bit of a shock to me as patience was not my strong suit.

    My patience is often tried, but I’m continually learning the need to keep on exercising that particular muscle .. not only apropos me, but also apropos world events. Though this is taxing in the extreme and worrying to boot. We can only hope and continue to pray that peace will prevail.

    Elaine, one of the highlights of 2016 has been your online presence so I thank you for that. From you I learn and I am grateful. I enjoy the comments on your posts and your responses back to them. May 2017 usher in peace, fortitude, steadfastness, love, joy, patience, creativity – and to everyone –

    • Susan, I’ve done this big up and down hikes to the summit–breathing hard going up and bracing legs and knees going down to avoid falling. Patience needed, and that’s not my strength either. Looks like I’ll get practice.

      I’ve appreciated you this year, Susan, and before then. I’m not sure when I first connected to your blog and latched on. I love our shared Jungian perspective and appreciation of nature, politics, and family. And you’ve also given me guidance about hearing issues. I remember you as the seasons change and feel grateful for our friendship. May we have a Peaceful and Compassionate New Year.

  7. That was such an interesting article, Elaine. Thanks for sharing it.

    Did your parents talk about their experiences in World War II a lot when you were growing up? One of my grandfathers fought in that war, and it was pretty rare for him to open up about it. The few stories he shared were quite sad, though.

    • I was born immediately after WW II. My father died when I was 14 and was very ill the last years of his life, so I didn’t ask many questions about the war because of my youth and his sickness. He got sick during the war with a kidney disease and never recovered. He said he enlisted in the Merchant Marines because he didn’t want to shoot people–so he was a Merchant Marine for 4 years on a ship, transporting supplies, troops, and prisoners of war. He told me how young the German soldiers were, how lonely and scared, how grateful if he gave them a cigarette or anything at all. He and others on the ships were scared they would be bombed, but they weren’t traumatized by close combat. His body was traumatized, but not his soul. My mom and older brother lived with her parents. She taught in a nursery school and often took the train to NY City to meet my father when he was on leave. I was conceived on one of those leaves.

      It’s hard to figure out how we romanticize war, isn’t it? It’s such a horrible experience. Wishing you and all of us a Peaceful New Year.

      • Yes, I hope we all have a wonderful new year.

        I have no idea why war is romanticized, but I found your stories about your family to be very interesting. Thank you for sharing them.

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