Saturday, December 22, 2018

Solstice Ramble

Now begins our hemisphere’s return toward the sun in our celestial geometry. Our dear friend, Len, was born on this date which feels like the sun’s birthday as well. It can only get brighter. He will have to share the solstice with Jane Fonda and Emmanuel Macron. Lead the way good people toward the vernal equinox and invincible summer lying within.

Why do you say goodbye, I say hello? Maybe it really is darkest before the dawn. Hello to the shutdown which Ebenezer Scrooge might have done just before Christmas. Hello to the burst bubble on the street called Wall where Dow is ¾ of Down and to that other mother of all walls. Hello to our legions come marching home. Hello to glimmers of light in the Humpty-Trumpty reign in which we are ruled by whim and blurt; nocturnal emissions disguised as deliberative regal decrees. William S. Gilbert (from G&S) described Donald in Iolanthe:

When you’re lying awake / With a dismal headache / And repose is tabooed by anxiety / I conceive you may use / Any language you chose / To indulge in without impropriety…

History reveals that Humpty-Dumpty wasn’t an egg after all. That was only Lewis Carroll’s depiction. The hard-boiled fact is that it was the name given to a canon placed on the wall of Colchester, England, when the Royalists within were under siege by the Parliamentarians. The Royalists who favored the monarchy as absolute ruler found one bright day in 1648 that their Humpty-Dumpty weaponry had fallen irreparably when the wall collapsed. So all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put scrambled Donald together again, however Oval his chamber may be.   

Just about this time 2,018 years ago, plus or minus a whiff of frankincense, Joseph and Mary were said to be trudging across the dry land. There was no room at the inn and no coverage by their H.M.O. All of which brings to mind my favorite Christmas carol.

Mary said to Joseph, so meek and so mild:
Joseph, gather me some cherries, for I am with child
Joseph, gather me some cherries, for I am with child.

Then Joseph flew in anger, in anger flew he
Let the father of the baby gather cherries for thee
Let the father of the baby gather cherries for thee

And wouldn’t you know it… from her womb Jesus ordained the tallest branch be lowered and Mary had her cherries by command. I like it for its interplay between human emotion and the otherness. Or maybe because Joan Baez sings it so beautifully. It is probably the only song of the season that doesn’t drive me up the wall.

Which brings us back to the damn wall. Did something go wrong with Trumpty early on? Did a class bully knock down his blocks or was he the bully so busy with tantrums he denied himself the opportunity to build his own?  Maybe our Bozo sees that China has one and Bibi has his so why not us? Something there is that doesn’t like one. We can only hope the returning soldiers are not assigned the task instead of building bridges and roads.

The sun sets at 4:48 today, one minute later than yesterday. Soon there will be buds on the high elbows of the cherry tree. Absent any providential intervention I take this as hope.

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