jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

"Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease."

Those are some pretty powerful lyrics. More, these were political and prophetic lyrics.

Recall that the song and the French poem were written in 1847. The English version was written in 1855, six years before the American Civil War and eight years before the Emancipation Proclamation. O Holy Night, it turns out, was a song of political resistance and protest.

-- Richard Beck, Christmas Carols as Resistance Literature

Date: 2016-12-25 05:41 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Thanks to all of you.

<3

Merry Christmas. Would it came in a brighter time; but here and now I am grateful for you all and your words.

Date: 2016-12-25 08:21 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
I celebrate Christmas because most of my family does, Yule because my partner does, and the Solstice because I needed to pick something for myself that wasn't religious. What days are important to you?

It's always a good time of year to demand that people live up to the compassionate words of their creed. However, I think that the turn toward light at the darkest time of year is particularly apt for reflecting on personal course changes or corrections. And there are many verses or whole songs in the Christmas carol cultural canon (try saying that five times fast!) that fulfill those functions, and are often beautiful as well.

Date: 2016-12-25 08:22 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
PS: Apologies for 'merry christmas'-ing you; my mistake.

Happy Holidays, or have a nice last few days of calender December, as the case may be.

Date: 2016-12-25 08:43 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Whatever one chooses.

Seriously, my thought process was this: Look up the science of the longest night / shortest day. Note the common elements that seem most meaningful to me across different religions. Like light, and fire, and confronting the cold and dark. Like self-reflection, and re-dedication to my principles, and keeping vigil for people who matter. Like lighting a candle in the dark, making special food, decorating with seasonal greenery. Instead of trying to adhere to one tradition, identifying choices of what to do that day/night that help me feel that I have observed, in the sense of marking, some of those meanings. Sometimes that has meant lighting a candle, or participating in a Yule ritual, or re-reading a personally significant story or poem. This year I climbed a tree to watch the sunset of the shortest day, lit a candle on a Long Night (not the longest though), and left a message here on Dreamwidth for my community here on the date of the solstice.

A lot of what I do that could be considered Christmas-y is really more broadly part of a cross-cultural inter holiday tradition, such as baking cookies and drinking apple cider. Sometime in early January, I intend to go sing at some neighborhood apple and crabapple and pear trees and pour a sip of cider on their roots, along with marking out where they are on a map so I can come back with water if it's dry in the summer, because wassailing the fruit trees can be a bit of gratitude and a bit of practicality, and it can be pagan or Christian, but it doesn't have to be, it's just *old* and ripe for reinterpretation.

To me, what makes a Solstice observance is that I know that I am doing certain things on or around that night and day because they provide ways for me to work with light and dark, cold without and warmth within, time alone and time together, things past and things future. By performing simple activities with a hint of ritual or of mindfulness, I acknowledge that the significance of the time is larger than myself. It encompasses all humans and extends well beyond humanity, including the rhythms of all life on Earth and the larger motions of the planets and stars. So, coming back around to me, what makes it matter is that I choose to make it matter. Which is why I like it.

Teal deer... we make holidays and holiday traditions for ourselves through what we choose to do or not do, whether we know it or not. The wheel of the year is a good frequency and nature-connection for me, but someone else might find a different calendar more apropos. You can decide amongst yourselves what special days you want to do something for, and what that something looks like.

Date: 2016-12-27 07:06 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
An excellent reminder. Thank you. n_n

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We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

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