Saturday, December 21, 2019

courting darkness

I was reading something recently that talked about the lost monsters of Christmas, at least in the US, where we are much less likely to celebrate the Krampus or Black Pete in favor of reindeer and Santa Claus.  Christmas being a season of light rather than dark, though today's solstice tells us otherwise.. I am not a Christian, but the holiday to me has always been a cultural one--a holiday of family gatherings and gift-giving at this coldest, darkest time of the year, and therefore probably much more pagan in it's impulse.

Though I knew A Christmas Carol was a ghost story, imagine my shiver of delight in a grad school victorian novel class that in Dickens' time, it was far more appropriate to tell ghost stories whilst roasting chestnuts round the fire than not.  Things are scarier in the dark, and these are the darkest days of the year. Of course, we fill them with monsters and ghosts.   I also can't help think of the opposite the summer solstice, and it's weird magic and lore..the fairies that will abduct you if you fall asleep in the wrong spot.  The in-between-ness, that seems similar to Halloween in the thin-ness of veils. Then, there is too much light, and afternoons become far more treacherous than midnights.

I am awaiting a grocery delivery and getting ready to make some cookies when I have the ingredients, but I think I'll settle in with some scarier holiday themed fare tonight than the past couple of weekends Lifetime/Hallmark romances.  Black Christnas,  Krampus. Silent Night, Deadly Night.  It will be pitch black by 4:30 and a long, long night since I slept rather late today, the first official day of my winter vacation.  I also will have ingredients for chicken soup, which seems appropriate solstice fare, though lately anything is an occasion for soup (mostly since I can just throw everything in the pot and work on other things while it's cooking.) I have a bunch of books I am finishing to ship out Monday before I leave town, so I'll be working on those as I watch movies and drink my way through this new box of mint hot chocolate.  I also have a shiny new sketchbook/planner to move everything into to get ready for the new year. I am so ready for 2020.

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