That was it, the longest night of the year. It’s over now. I didn’t send out a solstice greeting yesterday or last night because I was otherwise engaged. You might remember that last year on the winter solstice I hinted that we were involved in an obelisk improvement project:
Last night the birds and I were so anxious and excited you’d have thought we were landing a capsule on a comet! Our engineering feats were stone-age in sophistication, but considering the primary workmen were birds who have not evolved opposable thumbs, we are justifiably proud.
I think this is the coolest present the birds have ever given me, if you except the time black swan helped me get up here.
A niche! I’ve always wished I had a niche. Of course I’ve self-sequestered myself in an obelisk and an odalisque who shuns the world and makes a random scrapbook of fragments and bizarre conversations about birds, flinging that scrapbook out into a world where everyone is obviously sharing everything they make/do/think everyday in their very actual, materially measurable lives for un-anonymous readers to “identify with”, has no obvious niche. Once there was a niche, but it was unsatisfactory. It involved Moroccan tiles, a titillating fountain, perhaps a voluptuous urn, and a conspicuous absence of clothing around key body parts. Later, our niche was behind the heavy european draperies of studios and salons. Blessedly, we escaped those niches.
Where is the niche for an odalisque in an obelisk who converses with birds?
HERE IT IS. I have a niche. Right here in my obelisk. And this niche…it is VERY SPECIAL which is why I did not send you any solstice greetings to get you through that long dark night (at least it wasn’t so cold this year). I have been fixedly watching, with all birds, MY NICHE.
This is what happened when, from the longest long night, the sun crept over the horizon, slipping the first frugal but encouraging slivers through my single window:
Wait…what WAS that?
Don’t find your niche, make one. With the help of your friends.
Astronomically significant greetings to you and all your beloveds this winter season,
Quiet, please, quiet.
Let me sleep.
Let me pull this darkness (this darkness that is still natural in many places of this world) over my face like a black hood wrung in cool water.
Let me be blind inside it.
Let me sleep as deeply as sleepers in the dark regions.
Let me sleep, fists curled like a skinned animal who dreams of the moldy earth, of thick plush fur.
A dream that closes on waking like a heavy door heaved against a beast who wants to tear my bones away from themselves with its jeweled claws.