Sunday, November 29, 2015

A ramble through season's greetings

After a few gorgeous moments of sunrise, the day has taken on a subdued, pensive mood, weather deciding what it's going to do to or for us tomorrow and Tuesday. Later I'll bake a couple of loaves of sourdough bread so the smell of warm bread can leaven the local atmosphere and the taste can make my mouth happy. Ornaments are getting hung on the tree but, I just realized, there's no Christmas music playing.... (I bet you never noticed I stepped away to start Mary Chapin Carpenter's Come Darkness, Come Light.)

Winter sunrise
Winter sunrise
Photo by J. Harrington

As I was writing today's posting, I found myself in awe of peoples' creativity and determination. Paris streets are full of the pairs of shoes of those not allowed to march in protest of climate change, including pairs from Pope Francis and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Then there's the human chain snaking around the city to send a message of protest to the gathering world leaders. Few things would make me happier this Christmas than an outcome that includes adoption of an ambitious, fair, legally binding, agreement to decarbonize the global economy. Maybe the recent attacks on Paris civilians will help motivate global leaders to thwart terrorism through global unity. What a radical idea for Christmas, a movement toward world peace and unity? (Have you seen the cartoon about "what if the scientists are wrong and we create a better world for nothing?")

snow: how much, if any?
snow: how much, if any?
Photo by J. Harrington

I don't know if you've been tracking, but even the local weather folks seem to be coming up short on unity including whether we'll get somewhere between 2" or 10" to 11" of snow starting sometime tomorrow, unless the storm track moves south etc. I know that the Daughter Person always tries to cast her bread upon the snow drifts for a white Christmas, I'll have to keep an eye on the loaves I'm baking this afternoon so she doesn't cast my bread upon those drifts. Between the holidays, the weather, COP21, Iron Range joblessness, continuing protests about policing the Northside of Minneapolis, plus whatever else pops up on the news radar, we've got an interesting month ahead of us. Let's hope it's as joyful as it is likely to be exciting.

Fable

By Tom Sleigh 
A little village in Texas has lost its idiot.
-Caption on a protest sign

Let us deal justly.
-Edgar, disguised as Poor Tom, from Shakespeare's King Lear; act 3, scene 6
But where, oh where is the holy idiot,
truth teller and soothsayer, familiar

of spirits, rat eater, unhouseled wanderer
whose garble and babble fill rich and poor,

homeless and housed, with awe and fear?
Is he hiding in the pit of the walkie-talkie,

its grid of holes insatiably hungry,
almost like a baby, sucking in the police sergeant's

quiet voice as he calls in reinforcements?
Oh holy idiot, is that you sniffing the wind

for the warm turd smell on the mounted policemen
backing their horses' quivering, skittish

haunches into the demonstrators' faces?
Oh little village among the villages,

the wild man, the holy Bedlamite is gone,
and nobody, now, knows where to find him...

Lying in mud? lying caked in mud, hair elfed into knots?
Some poor mad Tom roving the heath

for a warm soft place to lie his body down,
his speech obsessed with oaths, demons,

his tongue calling forth the Foul Fiend, Flibbertigibbet
as the horses back slowly, slowly into the crowd

and he eats filth, he crams his ravenous mouth with filth—
and then he sits on his stool in the trampled hay

and deep-rutted mud, he anoints himself
with ashes and clay, he puts on his crown

of fumiter weed and holds his scepter
of a smouldering poker and calls the court to order.


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