Tag Archive | winter solstice

exit night. enter light.

I have a long night ahead.    You do, too, if you live north of the equator.

I haven’t always lived north of the equator.  At one time, I lived in a painting which means outside of time.  I left all that for my new life in an oddly-conceived obelisk sticking irrationally out of a marsh by the shore.   My life may be odd but it is not a work of art.  It’s not timeless.  I have to live through long long nights.  Too bad I didn’t wash up near the equator.  Just think of the birds I’d have had as friends!

Stop it, Odalisque!  Stop thinking about what never was.  How easily I fall into fantasy to avoid now.  NOW is the dawn (?) of the LONGEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR.  No, the CUSP of the longest night of the year.  The crepuscular CUSP.

How will you make it through?

I think I will observe my shadow.

If I sit still in the dark it will not be cast, and I can better observe it.

<Black Swan would like me to explain why Black Swan does not cast a white shadow.>

<I say ‘Perhaps your soul shadow is white.  Your soul shadow is not the shadow you see on the wall.”>

<Black swan blinks, uncomprehending.  Black Swan’s shadow is still black on the wall.>

<About swan brains:  They don’t understand that one word means can signify multiple things, especially if one of those things is conceptual.>

I didn’t have much of a shadow when I was art. I was painted to be luminous in a murky dark. If I had a shadow it vanished into the background.

It occurs to me that when I was a work of art I was the light casting someone else’s shadow.

I am very fortunate that my obelisk is well-lit.  I have a shadow and it changes size.  I will see my shadow again in the morning, when my window is passage for the first rays of dawn.

My niche objectifies that blessed event.

Stop Odalisque!  Stop thinking ahead.  First, I must get through tonight.

Maybe a stew of bitter roots and powders.  Sun powders: paprika, tumeric, cayenne, saffron, the colors of heat and warmth ground fine and digestible, enlivening to blood.   Or, foods rich in iron, as if this night is a furnace in which swords and anvils are forged.  Or,  tubers of Helianthus: all summer that plant grew high in the marsh, well over my head.  Whatever sustained stems, leaves, pods, the root has sucked dry and stored, earth-white-crisp, inside.   Let transubstantiation feed shadow tonight.

Drink red wine from a quartz cup.

Beat taut skins of drums or thighs with the palms of hands.

Cover yourself in cloth that catches the littlest light.

Or don’t, and let your eyes sparkle.

If the sun were a king and not a star, if you thought the earth was flat and the sky a dome, tonight the king would almost die.

The king is not dying.  Unless the king is like a shadow:  conceptual.  My bringer-of-light.

Do not let your sun king die.

It is a long night.   The sun is not dying, (at least, not on a human scale).  The earth is just moving like earth-mass moves a sun-scale gravitational field.   Starlings move like starlings in the twilight sky.  Grasses move like dry grasses in night-fall winds.

The king does not die.  Neither does the shadow.  Both will be weak for months now, but come spring, the earth will be pummelled by roots into abundance, solar powered.

 

 

wintersolstice_2015_halfsz_noborder

 

Merry darkness.  Happy soon-to-be dawn.

–The Odalisque

long night that was

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:

figure_solstice_orion_ahome

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.

my niche

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:

solstice_niche

Wait…what WAS that?

solstice_niche_full

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,

–The Odalisque

are you awake?

i am writing you it is the longest night of the year.  there are astronomical charts and time tables which tell me this is so.
no matter when you read this let it be known: I wrote this on the longest night of my second obelisk year.

I am vigilant.  the birds are asleep.  crow/parrot is nesting on the teapot. black swan’s head is tucked into a wing with a hammer.  hawk’s claw clasps a chisel.  starlings sleep in my tree, which is perfect because they will rustle and chirp at exactly the necessary moment.

I have an obelisk-improvement plan which begins with our marking tomorrow’s first ray of light.  I’ll show you what we do, but you’ll have to wait until next year.

now, now now, cold and colder (metaphysically).  the obelisk receives information on its obtuse cosmic angle as it (as we) tilt far back on our polar heel, away from the atomic crematorium called sun.  I am wearing my coat and holding phoenix, who burns my candle at both ends.

i don’t like these long nights.

tomorrow night will be one minute shorter than this night!  every minute counts when you’re all alone in an obelisk and your friends are birds who go to sleep with the sun.

correction: owl doesn’t sleep with the sun, but where is owl?  out torturing the rodents who plant seeds in my bed when I’m not looking.  all kinds of seeds stashed in my bed!  will they sprout to my warmth when i sleep sound?

i sleep in sound.  mice eat the seeds.  owl eats the mice.  owl eats the trees, twice-removed.  the marsh flowers and the burnet grasses.

i like my solitude, but these dark days weigh heavy on me.

are you awake, too?  hush holy in the old days, before people like you and I understood the earth’s axial tilt, how it–not the sun–moves.  There was a time when night-wakers-we would labor with rites and song to call back the cold sun.  come back, chariot of cosmic fire!  run your course directly o’er, you barely crest the distant edge of our apparently flat fields.

people like you and I, night-wakers-we, would worry about star-lit days and moon-less night.  the trees are already dead and if the sun said “no, i won’t come back” and didn’t, they would have stayed that way, bare of leaf, electrical snappage in a voltless day-called-night.  we would have been eaten by the night-hunters, like owl.

crow-who-is-parrot cracks one eye as if crow were wholly crow, and croaks “some day some day”.  it is true.  one day the sun will burn out.  go back to sleep, parrot-who-is-crow.

I am glad to KNOW that this is the longest night this solar year.    Tomorrow night will be a little bit gentler than this one here.

my winter solstice, 2013 scrapbook page.   happy hol [ly] days.

figure_solstice_orion_ahome

fig 3

desert (n) desert (v)

I am thinking about the lion roaring in the enraging desert:

lioninthedesert_text_qtrsz

What is passive, immobile, asleep in the heart creates a desert which can only be cured by roaring.

The desert is not in Egypt; it is anywhere once we desert the heart.

Our way through the desert is the awakening to it as a desert, the awakening of the beast, that vigil of desire.

the desert is where the lion lives  our guardian

“The lion roars at the enraging desert”  [Wallace Stevens]

The more our desert the more we must rage, which rage is love.

We fear that rage.  We dare not roar.

greedy paw, hot and sleepless as the sun, fulminating as sulfur, setting the soul on fire.

lion in the desert

Happy Winter Solstice.  The days now lengthen.

Live in the leonine passions of the soul.

–The Odalisque

(text excavation from James Hillman.  Read unexcavated text here from The Blue Fire.)

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