Sunday, December 20, 2015

"Looking for Fezziwig’s"

Fezziwig, old Fezziwig was the good hearted shop keeper that young Ebenezer Scrooge was apprenticed to in the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol".

In that story the character Fezziwig kept Christmas with a gleeful merry making that he, and his family shared with their employees, and indeed the world.

Christmas eve at Fezziwig‘s shop was a fine display of bright decorations, music, dancing, games, and boisterous laughter.

Oh, but the food!

Long tables were weighted down with all manner of tasty morsels. There were pies, cakes, hot breads, roasts, and cider!

Most of all, most wonderful of all is what Fezziwig gave of his soul. Loving kindness, warm fellowship, and an intuitive understanding of the true meaning of the day.

Christmas Day.

As Charles Dickens says through the character of Scrooge’s nephew Fred.

"Christmas is a time of generosity. A kind, and forgiving day. A day when men, and women from all circumstances open their shut-up hearts to the world."

‘And so it was true of Mr. Fezziwig. Silly, dear old Fezziwig, and his family, and apprentices. They were happy to be in each other’s company, and truly rejoiced in the day. Christmas Day.

The Fezziwig parable from the story of Scrooges redemption, "A Christmas Carol" is very special to me. Special because it touches upon a need I have. That perhaps a great many have. You see I’ve been searching for Fezziwig's for many years.

I’ve been looking for that humble shop so filled with joy for most of my life. A place of heart-fullness, and acceptance I so far I can only dream of.

Since I was very young, since I was a lad I’ve always felt outside, far from the hearth, beyond the window, outside of the door, locked out at the gate. Always outside looking in, and hoping to be noticed.

Through these many years I’ve searched for a tribe, a nation, a faith to belong to. To be enfolded into, and kept, and loved, and needed. I longed to be in a place where you could taste the love in every giving, and receiving.

I had hoped I would one day stumble upon such a miracle.

On many a Christmas Eve I wandered the streets of this vast Emerald City. This busy place of towers, lights, and noise. Through the neon canyons I looked for a very particular kind of magic. I have yet to be blessed with it’s discovery, but I do not despair. Because despite it all I still believe. I still have a kind of faith.

I Believe in Dreams.

I Believe in Holy Magic.

...but most of all I believe in the power of Good. The power of Loving Kindness. Yes even in a world as dark, and uncaring as this.

So I know,...I Know. One Christmas Eve yet to come I will walk down an unremarkable street with unseen Angels at my side. I will walk down a narrow snowy street, and at last find a small humble shop. A shop with wide, open, and inviting doors, warm golden lights, music, bright laughter, joyful songs,...and best of all welcoming smiles.

I will have at long last found my Christmas.

Merry Christmas !

(I wrote this some years ago. I'm still looking, and I still have Faith. Below are some Comments from this piece's first posting in I think 2009 or there'about.)

Zaek said...
Where is the loving Rainbow Tribe, not just for one week of the year in some inaccessible hinterland, but all the time, right here, right now? Where is AllenGinsbergLand, where RamDassPlanet, where indeed is Fezziwig's?
Bodmin said...
Fezziwig's shop was torn down some years ago and replaced by a 12 story glass and steel luxury condo.
Zaek said...
Well ain't that the old, old story!

I bet it's owned by Scrooge & Marley, or Grinch, Inc.

Maybe the Ghost of Solstice Present will show up in one of the flats one of these nights and scare the bejeezus out of Mr. Grinch.

Fezziwig's is for us to make.

I got close to it some years ago when I ran a small 'story-telling' cafe. It started in response to a plea from parents in a local Steiner school for somewhere their kids could go in out-of-school hours. We rented a run-down shop and ran it as a small cafe serving coffee and waffles and healthy Alternative Stuff at pocket money prices.

The principal idea of our Story-Telling Cafe was that for everyone on Earth there is a story that s/he needs to hear - a story that was written for YOU. So kids came along to hear story-tellers in the hope of one day hearing the story that was meant for them.

The 'kids' were soon joined by parents and grandparents (especially grandparents). Not only little kids, but lots of teenage kids and middle-aged kids and geriatric kids. We had story-telling sessions at lunch and in the evenings, and at weekends we also had tales at breakfast-time.

The reason the place worked was that it was left more-or-less in the hands of a keen group of teenagers, who proved to be brilliant organizers.

The cafe eventually hosted a school for story-telling - there is a bottomless need for stories and a longing to learn the skills of story-telling.

One case at 'Fezziwig's' lives on in my mind above all others. I was telling (never reading, always telling) the tale of the King of Ireland's son to a group of kids from a local school (a culturally down-at-heels state school). One black boy of around 14 was staring at me with what looked like aggression. When I paused for the 'question time' he asked: 'Have I got it right...Is this story about a boy who doesn't have a Dad?'
Uncle 2012 said...
So true. It is for us to make.
Zaek said...
That's great Sion. I love cafés. Yours sounds a lot like the temple of refuge that Sidney and I were discussing.


  1. Ya know I still want to create that cafe. Is it too weird to want to make a cafe that's also a temple of ceremonial magic and worship of beauty? Where you can grok gorgeous images and enjoy a nice cup of Earl Grey accompanied by rambling, freewheeling conversation? There would be panels of hidden art that fold out like a triptych, little stained glass windows, and an exquisite garden. It should also be like a tiny library branch stocked with plushly illustrated tomes of art, mythology, poetry and philosophy. Plus a small stage for dancing boys & their musical accompanists...

    Speaking of which, you might want to check out the term "kocek."


  2. Holy shit! Uncle is running in overdrive and now "Z" is jumping on the bandwagon with his cafe based on "The Garden of Earthly Delights". Save a seat for me and make mine a hot creamy mocha.