Sunday, December 13, 2020

In the last week before the Solstice, in the forty-first week of the Quarantine


Here's an excerpt from an essay by Nina MacLaughlin :

"The year is fading. Light is fading. Solstice means sun-stilled. We light candles and raise toasts, we smooch in doorways under strung-up plants, we hang lights along the roofline peaks, give gifts, make wishes, laugh and pray and fear. We bring the light into the earth and try to harness the great forces. It’s a wild sort of stilling, a thrashing frenzied sort of stilling, a stopping of time, a de-metering, a holding of the breath as the tension builds, as the dark expands, until it cracks and light drives in. That’s the hope. The far-off tinkling of bells you hear could be the harness of the reindeer or the bells around the neck of a goat. Hoofbeats on the roof, hoofbeats thudding in the warm and living hollow of your chest. Here in the wild quiet, something in the shadows whispers and you can’t tell if it means you good or ill. Pomegranate, holly branch, birch switch, mistletoe. We’ll leaf with life and pass below the secret places of this earth."


Nina MacLaughlin is a writer in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

I'm still in a writer's block, hemmed in by depression.  I feel that I have nothing left to say, and yet I have very much left to say.

I am so worried about our country. Trump has done serious damage in so many ways, and I will not live long enough to see it repaired.  

I don't expect to live past 85; that's just 13 more years.  Both of my parents lived into their 90's but with terrible diminishment which began in their early 80's.  I don't want to live that long.

As of today, we have a vaccine for COVID 19 which is beginning distribution.  So I hope that by the summer, I will be able to visit my friends and go to Cape May again.

In the meantime,  I look forward to teaching Modernity in Literature again ,starting in late January.

In the meantime, I look at the growing dark, waiting for the Solstice.

outdoor lighted tree at Longwood Gardens.  Photo by Fran Pierce

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