Solstice is a planetary event — though its nature and intensity, as experienced by humans, varies depending how far we are from the equator, and in which “direction,” South or North. (As an elderly Japanese anarchist nun character in A Tale for the Time Being would say: “up, down, same-same.”) While our friends and comrades in the Southern Hemisphere are experiencing their longest summer day, here in the North we have our longest winter night.
Though I didn’t grow up celebrating the Winter Solstice, these days I find that it magnetizes me just as much, if not more, than any other holiday in the winter season. Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Gregorian New Year, Lunar New Year — probably many more of which I’m unaware. Each holds beautiful myths, meaning, and ritual. But I don’t participate much in any of them, unless I’m invited in by a friend.
One thing I’ve learned about my nervous system: I tend to find abundance in simplicity.*
For Winter Solstice, go outside at least once to breathe fresh, cool air.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. The soup I made yesterday was no heritage recipe; just a way to use my Guilt Vegetables (perennially in danger of wilting or spoiling from my cooking procrastination) and some dried beans of mysterious provenance.
It’s been years… but we’re back, y’all. I’m ready to return to the Kloncke blog.
This will be a home for reflections and conversations that don’t fit so well on Instagram. (And as for Meta, formerly known as Facebook, as of this writing I’ve all but abandoned that platform.)
This revert-to-blogging experiment might work; it might not.
I’m excited to try. And I hope you’ll join me!
Got a few topics simmering that I want to share about, but I also want to ask you: what conversations would you like to have here?
Three Poems to Resume
To reopen, I want to offer three poems that I’ve loved and learned by heart in the intervening years. (“Learned by heart” is a phrase I’ve come to substitute for “memorized,” thanks to my dear friend and poet Rick Benjamin.)
the lesson of the falling leaves by lucille clifton
the leaves believe such letting go is love such love is faith such faith is grace such grace is god i agree with the leaves
widening circles by Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows
I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not complete this last one but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower. I’ve been circling for thousands of years and I still don’t know: am I a falcon, a storm, or a great song?
[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] by e. e. cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling) i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart