Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice!




Today is the winter solstice... the shortest day of the year and the longest night!

Many ancient cultures (and modern cultures that remember) celebrated this day of darkness by celebrating... light! As a heathen savage, I have my own solstice ritual wherein I hang moons and stars from my ceiling.

My stars and evergreen boughs. Check out the gorgeous drawing of Legolas, Aragorn, and Arwen. My immensely talented souls sister, Tara, drew that for me! :)

A close up. Yes, my ceiling is covered with pictures of Johnny Depp.

Why? My ancestors (the Celts and Britons, amongst a few others) celebrated the return of light on the winter solstice. Celebrating the stars and the rebirth of light was a cause for much merriment, and a little anxiety in case things didn't go as well as they should and spring didn't return after all. John and Caitlin Matthews have written lots of books that delve into Celtic and British pagan culture.

These pictures of the moon were all taken on December 12th, when the moon was the closest to the earth that its been all year, appearing even larger on the horizon.

As with most pagan (and I use that term hesitantly since it's like saying "African" -- it canvasses a huge number of individual beliefs and cultures) holidays, the winter solstice celebrates the sacred act of birth.


The Christmas song "The Holly and the Ivy" is a Christianized version of a pagan song. We no longer have the original lyrics, but the holly and the ivy are symbolic of the female and the male, and the song sings of each growing and mingling and seeking dominance. Both plants also remain green throughout the winter, symbolizing everlasting life -- the same symbology of the evergreen Christmas tree which we welcome into our homes each year, and adorn with light. Yep. Even Christians worship trees!


Well, I'm off to bless a yule log with some wine then throw it into the fire.



I hope you're all well and wish you a solstice full of light!


A random picture of a gingerbread man that my classmate's 3-year-old son decorated and gave to me at one ofmy professors' parties. "He's decapitated and eviscerated," I commented.

"Just how I knew you'd like it," my classmate said.

"Emasculated, too," my friend Max pointed out. Good times man, good times!

Mackenzie's Momma -- I'm so glad you liked the pictures! :D And I think I have heard of "semester at sea"... I know some of the tall ships also take people on for a month or two. It's something I'd definitely like to try! And I'd love to see your snow pictures. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Niña

The lighthouse

I promised to put these pictures up ages ago, though I don't think anyone else cares.

The day after Halloween, November 1st, 2008, my mom, dad, sister and I went down to the local harbor to see the Nina -- a replica of the ship upon which Christopher Columbus sailed on hi expedition to India in 1492. Yeah, you know. The one where the poor retard landed in America and called the Indians well... Indians.

I should probably share the fact that I am absoultely in love with tall ships and everything about them. I have studies Sailing (both on my own and in a class) and have sailed on a tall ship twice -- The Hawaiian Chieftain. I love that ship. Like, LOVE. Few experiences or sensations in my life can compare to the thrill and excitement I feel as soon as I hear the creaking of the blocks and feel the sway of the sea beneath my feet. Passions like this, inexplicable in this life, must come from past lives. Even as a child I loved to listen to the doors of the barn blowing in the breeze, creaking like a ship...

All photos were either taken by me or Alex.


Docked

Beautiful

:)


video

Spars

Anchor

Pumpkin... it was the day after Halloween!

:D

Rope has never looked so beautiful.


Alex is either cold or wondering why I'm taking her picture. Or both. But her lovely eyes match the sea!

If you look closely, you can see the coast guard practicing in the stormy seas.


Probably taking the above picture!


Yes, water was on the lens. It was raining!

The coast guard

Pelicans hanging out on a downed piling from the looks of it

coast guard again

big waves!




Okay. I have reach much of Christopher Columbus' diary/journal. He started to go insane around the 3rd of 4th voyage. Now I see why. Look how roomy his quarters were. Prisoners had more luxury!


block

I somehow doubt they had this on the real ship... but am glad they have it on the replica!

There was a crab on one of the pilings on the dock. A crab. Yes, there are often starfish and barnacles and even muscles, but crabs? I'm afraid of crabs and they hate me! I never even ate one and they hated me! Well, a year ago after I realized that crab is yummy, I decided to fight back. I now eat them. Though maybe they hate me because once a friend and I combed the beach, blowing up their empty shells with bottle rockets. We probably desecrated a graveyard or something. Though don't worry -- we were smart. At one point we gave an anemone in a tide pool the stick of the rocket to hold then lit it. See? The anemone fired it, not us! I think it liked it.

So pretty!

More pelicans. They kind of scare me ever since I saw one bite another's throat open in August as they were fighting over scraps of fish a fisherman was feeding them...

The beach

On the drive back, I filmed some of the surf, a coast guard person in it, and some California gulls in flight!


video

I would say all the excitement turned me retarded, but I kind of always look like that...

And here are some awesome pictures from that day and the next!

The barn looks alien

The Toot looks possessed... but then again, maybe she is. Look what she did to that soccer ball!

Kate, Mickey, Teyla

Our house looks spooky!

I also tried out a new recipe the next day -- pumpkin meringue pie!





And my dad made lots of yummy donuts!



Mackenzie's Momma -- I'm glad you enjoyed them! Hmm... I should ask Mathilde if she's seen any on those topics! ;) Are you done with your semester? And I'd love the recipe! :D