A photo by my husband. Kind of captures the season for me! A swirling kaleidoscope of color, visual noise, and fun!
To my student who just moved: I will miss you. You are a great kid, and I believe you will grow into a fine young man. I will miss your warm, quick smile, your efforts to do your best, every day, and the kindness you brought to the room. From clues I hear, your family life may be a little bumpy. My wish for you is that you take that goodness in your heart and let it heal you when you need, and you know that you will be missed.
Godspeed, young man – may life give you back the kindness you give others.
This article link content is NOT about your personal beliefs, or mine.
It is about what we talked about (briefly) the other day — in addition to books, poetry and songs can also help us find answers to our questions–they speak to us. Another path is reading what other great thinkers/philosphers reflect upon, and consider. This article has three minds considering an historical figure, and the possible significance, all from their own cultural perspectives.
If you read this article, consider the questions the writers were attempting to explore. I don’t say “answer” because rarely do we find definitive answers to anything- life is all about exploration. That’s what makes it interesting.
I have a hemispheric bias. I understand my northern hemisphere, its traditions, and its quirks. We northerners personify the dark days.When I see an image of Chronos/Saturn using one of his children as a midnight snack, it’s a metaphoric munchie , and innately I understand its cultural roots and the darkness of December–it’s time eating our lives.
It is near logical to me that people, in their complete and “advanced darkness” (thanks, Spongebob) would make finding out when the darkest day of the year would be a really…big…deal. Time to cut down some evergreen branches and put another log on the fire. Heck, sacrifice a young maiden if you need to, it’s dark! We want light! Sun, come back! Come back, sun!! I can set my Stonehenge to it.
And how do I connect Saturn to Snow White? When the Queen, with one tenuous hold on her youth and beauty, all due to the subjective whims of a rhyming mirror, decides that the ebony-haired beauty, with nary a grey hair or wrinkle, is encroaching on her territory, well, then, Snow’s heart is the price she must pay! What is it with older folks symbolically ‘eating’ the young? Hey, dude, I can buy an i-Pod too – so what if I break a hip trying to dance to it?
Enter Baby New Year. Crackling. Colicky. Cranky. Abandoned by old man Saturn, this kid grows up all over again on his own, to learn the same lessons, to touch the burning stove again, and stick the proverbial fork in the proverbial light socket repeatedly. No wonder why we never learn anything, really.
Both Chronos/Saturn and the Queen should have a chat, compare notes. Getting older isn’t all that bad, is it? Reminiscing on past triumphs and errors–it’s as someone said: “It all works out okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” I can’t think of a more paradoxically optimistic/pessimistic quote as that one.
The sun will come out tomorrow.
The Writer’s Almanac Winter Solstice Link (December 21, 2009)
In the northern hemisphere, today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It’s officially the first day of winter. It’s officially the first day of winter and one of the oldest known holidays in human history. Anthropologists believe that solstice celebrations go back at least 30,000 years, before humans even began farming on a large scale. Many of the most ancient stone structures made by human beings were designed to pinpoint the precise date of the solstice. The stone circles of Stonehenge were arranged to receive the first rays of midwinter sun.
My very sweet husband found this video for me.
And…of all the languages spoken at our school district, we discovered in our classes that not a single one of you speaks Finnish.
The concept: to watch the video, and jot down what you inferred, the gist, what you thought the mood, ideas, or story line is–you all wrote basically the same things – that they were kids using their imaginations, being happy, going on a trip–some went a little deeper–when the scary monster tree looks at them threateningly, but then waves and grimaces a smile, you thought, well, maybe things that seem mean aren’t always what they appear to be.
Many of you couldn’t get over the fact that they were singing words you didn’t understand, and couldn’t grasp that was the point – what is communicated is sometimes in a universal language- those are the themes that connect to everyone. Your focus is a bit too narrow sometimes, my students. Now, as technology babies, you found it challenging, albeit distracting, to search for the English translation of the song. That’s okay, but again–not the point.
If they had been singing Vietnamese, Tagalog, Swahili, Portuguese or Ukrainian, some of you would have understood the words, but perhaps would have overlooked or dismissed its tiny, sweet message: families and friends are where we find them on our journeys, and being together is the most important thing. We take our homes in our hearts. We don’t need big families, or a lot of friends; just ones that love us.