Thursday, December 20, 2007

Marking Time


Late Afternoon,
Walter Lunt Palmer, ( 1854-1932),
oil on canvas.

1. Are We There Yet?

The sun blurs across the lower quadrant of the sky. Even at noon in winter there are always shadows, stretching across the snow like ogham script.

We think of the solstice as the longest night of the year; yet, according to my almanac, for nine days we hang upon the tree with eight hours and forty-four measley minutes of light.

On the twenty-third, rises the Full Cold Moon:
t'was in the moon of wintertime,
when all the birds had fled...

I am in sympathy with the ancient myths. I crave lights and fire in my cave, and roistering.
Johnnie, bring the yule log in...
And I understand why, in the Northern mythologies, hell is a cold and frozen place. And why they drank a lot in Valhalla.

2. Oh Please, People:

A certain classic redundancy makes me spit out my eggnog and say vulgar things, especially when I see it used carlessless by agents and editors who are supposed to know better: refer back/return back.

3. WTF spam:

This Christmas give the gift of Family.

Really, I have a lovely family and I prefer to keep them. Sorry, if I'm selfish.

37 comments:

Julie said...

Lovely imagery as always. Pity there isn't such a thing as warm snow...

Have just spent a fascinating few minutes sidetracked on Ogham script.

Vesper said...

Cold and winter have their charm though, Bernita. I love the feeling of warmth I can get when I'm in "my cave", watching the snow, the dark, knowing they can't really reach me... I can imagine stories of planets covered in snow...
Your words and images are beautiful, as always. :-)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Julie. I suppose downy comforters are the the closest.

Winter does make us appreciate green and growing things, Vesper. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Love the Ogham script line! The picture really does point that image up.

I hate "return back" - and "respond back". I hear them every day in the office.

Asa

Bernita said...

I don't have a lot of language fetishes, Asa, but that's one of them.
Glad you liked that line!

BernardL said...

This Christmas give the gift of Family.

Really, I have a lovely family and I prefer to keep them. Sorry, if I'm selfish.

LOL! One of the worst poised with finger in mouth sentiments. :)

Jaye Wells said...

A side note, I've always loved the names of the full moons. There's something so mysterious-sounding about the Snow Moon and the Hunter's Moon. Not to mention the Sturgeon Moon and Worm Moon. Great little elements to include in a story, especially one that has lots of creatures that live by moonlight.

Bernita said...

I double-took on that one, Bernard!

I like Hunter's Moon, particularly, Jaye. I once knew a place called Hunter's Home.

rockfall said...

Winter solstice - a time pagan rituals commandeered by early Christians who couldn't come up with their own.
Now, hijacked by commercial interests to keep the masses spending money in the deep winter when they should be hoarding for heat and survival.
Not to mention the ramifications of lack of sunshine on various bodily functions.

Oh, yeah, Merry Christmas.

Church Lady said...

The ogham script line was also my favorite.
I googled it and learned something new.
Thank you! :-)

Ric said...

blogger is being a pain - won't let me post easily - the above post from rockfall is mine - see, just another annoyance to go with the darkness.

SzélsőFa said...

For me, Winter Solstice is a starting point.

Josephine Damian said...

Bernita, come to FL in June, on the longest day of the year, and I'll show you hell.

Finally, it's cool outside here and I'm able to do some yard work without risking heat stroke.

Have a happy holiday! Keep these always thought provoking posts coming. And may the muse always be kind.

December/Stacia said...

Mmm. Fire. We light candles at Yule, but I love them all winter. (I love them all the time, but especially in winter, I should say.)

Jeff said...

Lovely painting, Bernita. I also googled Ogham script. Interesting.
I'm thinking how nice it would be to put another log on the fire, fix a hot beverage, and open a good book. :)

December/Stacia said...

BTW, my most nails-on-the-chalkboard redundancy is "2/3/whatever am in the morning." Gets right up my nose.

Bernita said...

Not so much comandeered, Ric, as absorbed and interpreted. A yearning for light is natural this time of year, and for hope.
Merry Christmas to you too.

Glad you like it, Chris.

Szelsofa, I am always happy when the we tilt toward the sun.

Thank you, Josephine. Happy holidays to you.
I was born in the wrong climate. I like it hot.
My only "yard work" is shovelling snow.

Candles glow deeper in winter, December.

Thank you, Jeff. Perfect way to spend the winter, I think.

raine said...

You've described the season well.
Not my favorite. Here, even the few hours of daylight we receive are murky and pierced with cold.

And I want to pitch things at the tv when I hear the weatherman say, "Well, at least it's good for the ski buffs."
Asswipe.

But lol at the gift of family...

Bernita said...

Same here, Raine.
Today the sky was gray and cold as sabre steel.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ahh for Valhalla, to be able to drink and drink and never suffer a hangover. Whooo hoo.

Bernita said...

They did seem to be in need of constant meadiation, Charles.

StarvingWriteNow said...

"Give the gift of family..."

Hmm...

Can family be gifted? Can they be re-gifted? Put in a white elephant exchange when you're tired of them?

Middle Ditch said...

I love the winter with it's long nights, cold days and festivities. Love to curl up with my cats on the sofa and watch my favourite soap with curtains drawn and the fire roaring (I made that up as I have central heating, but imagine it), a glass of wine and some chocolates.

It's a time of rest for us and for nature too.

Bernita said...

Imagine, Starving. "Families - 10% off..."

That's the proper spirit, Monique.

Gabriele C. said...

I'm a winter type. I like me some cold and snow. Well, the cold we get right now, but the snow is still lacking. But it's an improvement to last winter's tepid rain.

Billy said...

Bernita, thanks again for the award! It is now proudly displayed. As for giving the gift of family--LOL!!! I am reminded of the road sign that says

SLOW
CHILDREN AHEAD

And the phrasing of agents--I have a hundred rejection slips with the most egregious errors in phrasing. And these souls are the gatekeepers of thought and modern letters?!

Steve Malley said...

Lovely post, painting and words took me right back to Minnesota, where every year around this time we hung one-eyed on the tree until ravens whispered their secrets...

Here in NZ, it's the longest day of the year, barbeques and outdoor sports and the like.

And this year I *am* giving the gift of family: I'm punching holes in condoms and swapping out birth control pills with PEZ! :-)

Bernita said...

Gabriele, to think I used to love to roll around in that stuff as a child...

Thank goodness they were rejection slips, in that case, Billy.

Thank you, Steve!
"I'm punching holes in condoms and swapping out birth control pills with PEZ! :-)"
You're a very Bad Man.

Scott from Oregon said...

shall we all convene in Cancun for some roistering?

Gabriele C. said...

I still do that, Bernita, if there's enough of the stuff around. And I build snowmen. :)

writtenwyrdd said...

That return back doesn't bother me as much as people saying "nukyaler" instead of nuclear (or "nooklee-er")

The cold months are the months of in-gathering, and I like the cave-dwelling aspects of it. Give me sunlight, yes; but give me dark nights with fire, too.

Nothingman said...

reminds me of the first time i saw snow...you are putting up beautiful pictures these days, the Yak looked killer :)

N

Lana Gramlich said...

Wow...I thought that painting was a photograph.
(Fun post, btw! Wes hail! *clinks drinking horns w/her.*)

Sam said...

Lovely imagery!
And my husband is always complaining I'm redundant when I say 'je monte en haut' (I go up upstairs) but in French I get muddled, lol.

Bernita said...

Roistering is Good, Scott.

Snowman snow doesn't happen often in these climes, Gabriele.

Ya know, Written, according to my Merriam-Webster, while non-standard, the first is an acceptable promunciation.
"Months of in-gathering" - I like that.

Thank you, Nothingman!

Waes hael to you, Lana, and myrgthe en Christes Maesse!

But you don't do that in your primary language, Sam, so phbtt to him.

Rob said...

Giving your family away as a Christmas present, what a fantastic idea! Maybe you could forward me that e-mail...

Bernita said...

Eh, Rob!
People swap gifts, houses and jobs, but swapping families....