Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I have the understanding that observing the Solstice in summer and winter was an aspect of those cultures dependent upon seasons. Whether it was snowing or raining, whether there was drought or swamp, whether the Larks were singing or not, Solstice fixed the calendar with the authority of mathematics. A farmer could look to his priest and hear that confidence and know that at least something was as it should be. He'd take his troubled family to a high hill and make promises. The days are lengthening, summer is coming. Then in summer, he could see the days were shortening, and clearly winter was coming. Work harder.
I used to reckon the working harder part belonged to a sense of downhill. And I'll call that sense of downhill, a panic. An "Oh my God." A mania that gathers steam and culminates in a Glorious Unseemliness or Christmas Day. As well, I used to argue, that New Year's Day was essentially a drunken revelry of regret, that sunk a hangover into 'being' until somewhere around the middle of March when the eyes, not mathematics, could begin to see the new growth and maybe wonder a little bit about never wearing socks again. Now, I'm inclined to no longer be confused about which Solstice to mourn, because I can hear both of them laughing at us.