Thursday, May 6, 2021

Different Places, Other Times - Part 2

Seasonal images captured on the fly using the Toy Canon during the original Odyssey. Not exactly high end files, but certainly serviceable during lean times.


Thursday, April 29, 2021

May Day, Walpurgisnacht, et al.

May Day's a mixed salad of named holidays. Definitely pot luck.

To the Celts, May Day divided the year into dark and light halves. Doesn't get much simpler or more fundamental than that…

Get yours while the getting's good. Everybody make some babies.

Later, the Roman's brought with them their five day celebration of flowers and Floralia it became.

During the 6th Century, Walpurga's feast got tacked on. Saint Walpurga was, among other things, anathema to witches.

Later still, Walpurgis Night became the one night of the year when witches held their annual earthly convention, with Satan the keynote speaker.

So on Saint Walpurga's special night, evil gets to walk the earth. Go figure.

During the 1880's, we dragged May Day into the Industrial Age.

May 3rd 1886, Chicago Police opened fire on striking workers, killing at least two. Things went south from there.

May 4th at Haymarket Square, a large crowd agitated for justice on behalf of the fallen, along with an eight hour work day. The gathering was peaceful. Chicago's mayor made an early appearance.

The evening wore on. Rhetoric grew hot. The police ordered the crowd to disperse. Someone threw a bomb.

More than 60 officers were wounded, eight died. No one then or now can say for sure how many protestors were killed or wounded.

Literally, working folk didn't count. Especially not socialists, the (then) new Satan.

Eight men were charged with the bombing. Pretty much everyone knew none of them threw the bomb. At least one had gone home by then. All save one were sentenced to hang. Four did. A fifth killed himself (or was murdered) before he could be hung.

By 1889, May Day was declared International Workers Day. The date was chosen by the American Federation of Labor to mark the strike leading to Haymarket that resulted in what some consider the most egregious miscarriage of justice in United States history.

In 1947 Congress declared May 1st to be Loyalty Day, no lie. In '58 they changed that to Law Day.

Didn't help.

When I was a kid the godless Russkies owned May Day. Every year the mainstream media ladled Russian propaganda direct from Red Square straight onto American dinner tables.

Can't guess what May Day means in modern times. All things to all people, perhaps.

Dark into light sounds good to me.

Go pagans.

#mayday #walpurgisnight #haymarket

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Earth Day - 2021


Tomorrow, National Poetry Month and #earthday pass like planets in conjunction.

I understand why poetry needs a month. All respect to my poet friends, it's a niche pursuit. If those who love poetry don't organize to remind most everyone else it's still here, maybe poetry as we've known it turns into something else.

Go, poets.

Earth Day, however… It just doesn't make any sense.

When I was a kid adults liked to tell this joke on children. Can't guess how often I heard it growing up, adults liked to rub it in.

A child asks, "We've got Mother's Day and Father's Day. How come there's no Kid's Day?"

"Because every day is children's day." Ka-boom. Welcome to life on the run, kid.

But Earth Day?

As if each and every day of earthly life on this dear blue world isn't that already?

Absolutely I honor those generations of activists that've carried us all thus far, as regards the tending of the world. Rachael Carson and others are giants astride earth's history.

And I get the necessity of using symbolism to grab some attention, too. It's what we do.

Then considering all the stupid stuff I once was taught as gospel truth, it's a long way we've come in a remarkably short time. People of good will must always remember that, while laboring at the rock of ignorance, greed and shortsighted human folly, so to someday rest upon a more sustainable landscape.

Except because we still rally around a symbolic day that exists to annually remind us without Earth as we know it there'd be no us at all, then the hard road already traveled by those who came before us isn't near enough.

Not fast enough. Not smart enough. Unsustainable.

Every day is Earth Day.

Take that, post industrial civilization. Time to grow up, kid.

Go life. With or without us.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

National Poetry Month, 2021

Being as it's an official month and all...

#NationalPoetryMonth #poetry

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Different Places, Other Times - Part 1

Seasonal images captured on the fly using the Toy Canon during the original Odyssey. Not exactly high end files, but certainly serviceable during lean times.






Thursday, March 18, 2021

1st Day of Spring – Pagan Variety

Meteorological spring is all about structural convenience. Quantifiable, reasonably reliable, year-over-year statistics. Absolutely necessary, whether seeking greater insight by studying long term trends, or more accurately predicting tomorrow's weather so you'll know better how to prepare.

Pagan spring's about celestial certainty. Four times every year, the world reliably turns. On the vernal equinox, the heavens tell us life's again tilted toward the sun.

Except with the green season officially called by both gods and science, I still had to cruise my back catalogue to represent it here.

Reliably, earlier this week it snowed on the prairie. It's been grey, dank and chill since. They say Saturday the first day of Pagan spring will be nice. Suitable to dancing 'round the fire and other such, local restrictions apply.

In the northwoods, they still ice fish. They'll be a while yet. Past these pretty flowers are ice floes on the big lake, in early June.

No matter how it's marked, Spring's a state of being. A place where science, hope and knowledge so basic that every living thing on Earth knows it, reliably come together.

Pervasive muck and marauding clouds of biting insects included, as may be.

#spring #equinox

Monday, March 1, 2021

1st Day of Spring, 2021 – Meteorological Variety

Don't let that image fool you. It's from 2017. A mirage from the past.

The seasons don't lie. Science only divides those into three month sections for its OCD convenience.

Outside, a warming sun diminishes great gobs of ice and snow by the minute. Male cardinals trill, hoping to attract a mate. Sparrows don't have that problem and are already busy having sex. A smattering of robins have returned.

Under all that snow, earned knowledge and experience tell me life stirs.

Shrinking winter reveals leftover mystery.

Though doesn't answer it…

Today on the prairie, spring remains largely an abstract concept.

Later this month, we'll greet the traditional pagan turning. Since that's as likely to be grey wet and chill as not, it's just a celestial crapshoot.

So for now, the cold light of science will do.