Feasts can only be significant if not every meal is a banquet.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all. There is so much to be thankful for! Enjoy your feast, enjoy your family time, enjoy the festiveness and all that happens in your family traditionally on this day.
It is good to celebrate the feasts in our lives, the special, significant meals that we share with those we love. Thanksgiving is one of them, and so is Christmas dinner. In between the two, there lies Advent, a time to prepare for Christmas. Today, I would like to encourage you to follow an old tradition and fast during Advent in some way.
Feasts can only be significant if not every meal is a banquet. Feasting as well as fasting are part and parcel of many (all?) religious traditions, and it should come as no surprise that it is good for us to not always eat as much as we can hold, and to not always abstain from most things. It is also good to break routine every once in a while and prove to ourselves that we CAN do without coffee for four weeks, or without tea, or without chocolate, or without dessert, or without meat, or without fast food.
Simplify your dietary habits so that feasts like today stand out as significant. Alternate feast and fast. Enjoy the times of plenty, and the times of restraint. It will strengthen your mind as well as your body.
Here’s something to play when the Trick-or-Treaters come.
Dark Classical – The Best Classical Tracks for Halloween
Polish up your rusty French to figure out which titles this mix contains, or just listen. Surely you know most of them. Have fun!
1 – 00:00 – Requiem: Dies irae, pt. 1 – Giuseppe Verdi
2 – 02:07 – Peer Gynt, Suite No. 1, Op. 46: No. 4, Dans le palais du Roi de la montagne – Edvard Grieg
3 – 04:18 – Toccata et fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 – Johann Sebastian Bach
4 – 13:31 – Requiem, K. 626: Sequentia. Dies irae – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
5 – 15:29 – Sonate funèbre No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 35: III. Marche funèbre. Lento – Frédéric Chopin
6 – 22:30 – L’apprenti sorcier – Paul Dukas
7 – 34:13 – Tableaux d’une exposition: VIII. Catacombes. Sepulcrum Romanum & Con mortuis in lingua mortua – Modest Mussorgsky
8 – 38:00 – Danse macabre, Op. 40 – Camille Saint-Saëns
9 – 44:25 – Sonate pour piano No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 35: III. Marche funèbre. Lento – Frédéric Chopin
10 – 51:50 – Symphonie No. 10 in E Minor, Op. 93: II. Allegro – Dmitri Shostakovich
11 – 55:50 – Le songe d’une nuit d’été, Op. 61, MWV M13: Marche funèbre. Andante comodo – Felix Mendelssohn
12 – 56:53 – Marche funèbre d’une marionnette – Charles Gounod
13 – 01:01:26 – The Planets, Op. 32: I. Mars, the Bringer of War – Gustav Holst
14 – 01:08:11 – Le sacre du printemps, pt. 2: Danse à l’élue – Igor Stravinsky
15 – 01:09:48 – Le sacre du printemps, pt. 2: Danse du sacrifice – Igor Stravinsky
16 – 01:14:18 – Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale, Op. 15: I. Marche funèbre. Moderato un poco lento – Hector Berlioz
17 – 01:34:07 – Harmonies poétiques et religieuses, S. 173: No. 7, Funérailles – Franz Liszt
18 – 01:44:31 – Carmina Burana: Finale. “O Fortuna » – Carl Orff
This weekend marks the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.
We made it: This weekend marks the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. It is a time of hope, and also of purification, a time of lighting candles and burning the last logs of the Christmas season.
Plant a hope seed!
Plan your garden!
Place that seed order already!
Have fun, and rejoice if it is cloudy for then, spring will not be far off.
“Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter’s pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year’s ill,
And prayer to purify the new year’s will.”
– Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet’s: February
Many names are associated with this weekend: Imbolc, Candlemas (40 days after Christmas when Mary would have gone to the temple to purify after giving birth), St. Bridgit’s Day, eventually Groundhog Day.
It is a time marked by hope. Can you feel it, too?
Note: The Fruehlingsboten pictured are blossoming in my dear mother’s yard back in the Old World.
The sun is at his zenith, and we are called to mark the day; do not let it pass unnoticed.
The longest day of the year is here – midsummer, the summer solstice. The sun is at his zenith, and we are called to mark the day; do not let it pass unnoticed.
In the large scope of things, our earthly existence matters little. The Stoics already told you this much; especially Marcus Aurelius was good for pointing it out tirelessly! Remember it the next time you get bent out of shape about something: Will it still matter tomorrow? In a week? In a month? Next year on the summer solstice?
Whenever I scraped my knee as a child or was upset about one thing or another, Grandma would always tell me: “By the time you get married, you will have forgotten all about it.” Grandma was wise.
For us, the sun rises behind a big old maple. We greet him every morning and are thankful for the new day with its opportunities and chances. We also remember that one day, winter will come without a spring that we shall ever see, as Tolkien put it.
For ages, this same sun as risen and set. He will continue to rise and set, with or without us, but we are part of this great cosmic occurrence, maybe more than we know, and certainly more than we realize if the material world is all we acknowledge.