Sunday, December 20, 2009

Solstice stillness

I can't figure out whether tonight or tomorrow night is the longest night of the year. It comes down to seconds; tonight the sun set at 5:25 and will rise at 8:01, and tomorrow the sun sets at 5:26 and rises at 8:02 Tuesday morning. The actual moment of Winter Solstice happens around midday tomorrow. Tonight feels like Solstice Night, though, with darkness and stillness and just a bit of snow.

And fleecy blankets, and a cat on my feet. That'll enforce a little stillness.

* * * * *

I continue to trace the roots of this stillness. I feel like I haven't got anything to say, but when has that ever stopped me? I think, perhaps, I need to go back to the details. To just being awake, and noticing deeply.

I like Twitter. It's good when you don't have much to say.

And so, I'm going to use the avenue that has felt most hospitable recently. Beginning tomorrow, I'm going to try to notice three things each day. I don't need to force those things into poems; I just need to pay attention to them. Full attention, even if only for the length of time it takes to compose a 140-character description. And I'm going to tweet about them.

We'll see how that goes and whether it wakes me up again.

I bought a new phone a couple of weeks ago, and it has an adorable little slide-out keyboard and a bright shiny touch screen and it has Twitter and Facebook and Gmail and Outlook and a camera and maps and navigation and even a lolcat application.

So if I notice things, I don't even have to be near my computer to record them, to put a few words out into the ether. I just have to grab my little phone, my little portable brain.

Three things a day. I can do that, right?

* * * * *

In other sort of writing-related news, I've signed on as one of the contributors to Blogness on the Edge of Town, which is, yes, a Bruce Springsteen-related blog. Mostly news and tidbits and suchlike. Should be fun, and a nice way to stay connected to a community that's become important to me.

Lucky for me, as soon as I took this on, Bruce did a lovely and newsworthy thing (in case you haven't heard): he posted a statement on his official website in support of marriage equality. You have to scroll down past the cute picture of him at the White House for the Kennedy Center Honors a couple weeks ago, but the statement is still there, and it still gives me the warm fuzzies to read it. He doesn't post political statements very often, so the fact that he felt this one was important enough to comment on makes me really happy.

Why should I (or anyone) care what some wealthy heterosexual rockstar thinks about this, or any, political issue? That's a fair question. And it's an age-old one, really - can someone's art be compassionate, authentic, truthful if the artist is a weasel? Not going to even try to answer that one tonight. I'll just say that it did my little heart good to see someone whose work I have respected for over thirty years demonstrate, not for the first time, that his heart is in the right place. And considering how much of my money has ended up in his pocket, I feel like I have more than an artistic stake in this, heh.

I will say that his statement has not met with 100% support in his own fan community. There are people who listen to his music who disagree pretty strongly with a lot of his politics. So I guess he took a certain risk in posting that statement, though at this point I think most people who'd stop buying his music or going to his shows because of something like that have already stopped long ago.

I'm rambling. It just made me really happy, the night that statement got posted and I stumbled across it. Fangirl that I am, I'll leave it at that.

* * * * *

Watching the news, where they're talking to stranded travelers in the airport. I hope those of you who got blizzarded on this week are digging out without too much drama, and if anyone's traveling, I hope you get where you're going okay.

Hope it all clears up before Thursday, when I am getting on a plane myself. Till then we just have a little snow, and enough cold to make me bundle up trying to stay warm (except when I suddenly have to try and cool off - you middle-aged women know what I mean there) but not so cold as to be dangerous. It's not so bad. Though I confess I wouldn't mind being snowed in for a few days, so long as I had heat and people food and cat food and the Internet and a few books to read. And maybe somebody with a younger, stronger back than mine to shovel me out eventually!

May you have a happy holiday, if you celebrate one of those Decemberish ones. Peace and joy and goodwill and light, and all that.

Yes, light. Here's to its return.


Lyle Daggett said...

Solstice at midday. (Blogness at the face of noon?) I don't have the sunrise and sunset times in front of me, but this time of year we get about eight and a half hours of daylight. (Make up for it with the glorious long June days at the other end of the year.)

I periodically have periods of not much to say, when the poems aren't coming out. I've found that just observing quietly, trying to get to the silence (or stillness) before words, is a good help getting through those times. The silence (the stillness) isn't empty.

I haven't yet tried Twitter, not sure if I will, not for now anyway, mainly I've already got more gadgets than I need in my life. I'm old enough to remember the last few years when it was still more common to travel by train than by plane. If I have something to say, it will wait.

(I do keep my poem notebooks -- paper notebooks -- by me at all times. That's different though -- I don't have to log onto paper.) :)

Whenever I hear or see people talking about tweeting these days -- even though I know what they're referring to -- I can't help remembering a silly joke from grade school (early to mid-1960's):

Q.: What do you call a bird that flies through an electric fan?

A.: Shredded tweet.

And... when I saw the word "lolcat," before I followed the link to check it out briefly, the first thing that occurred to me was "Oh -- yeah -- LOL cat -- must be pictures of cats doing or saying funny things." Point being, I've apparently learned to read Droid language without having to translate first.

I find this very disturbing. ;p

Lyle Daggett said...

And BTW, happy holidays, Anne. :-)

Jessie Carty said...

have a great trip.
i'm enjoying a bit of less web-ness and it has been nice but still hasn't fueled any other writing so...hmmm maybe i need more to do before i write anything new? or just for the decade to turn over?

Anonymous said...

Merry Merry, whatever your flavor!

Collin Kelley said...

Happy Holidays, Ann! Hope we get to meet up while you're in ATL. :)

The Promiscuous Reader said...

I'd hoped that posting my old poems on my blogs, and reading more new poems than usual, might kickstart the Muse again. Hell, it's only been 25 years since I finished a poem... But nothing so far, though a few false starts. Part of the problem is that I'm writing too much prose these days, I think.

On the question of what it means for a "wealthy, heterosexual rock star" to address gay issues, I don't think it should be dismissed, though it shouldn't be overvalued either. As you say, Springsteen has probably lost fans for political things he's said before, so I don't think he's too worried about it. It may mean that he'll make a few dollars less here and there, but it's not going to cost him his career.

And I think it is important for members of majorities to speak out on "minority" issues. Racism is a white problem in this country, so whites need to speak out against racism; sexism is a male problem; antigay bigotry is a straight problem; and so on. Those majority members who do it shouldn't congratulate themselves excessively for merely doing what is right; minority members shouldn't congratulate them excessively; celebrities' opinions don't count for more than anyone else's except that they have a bigger audience than most of us (and hypothetically, what if a pro-gay celeb says something kind but horribly misinformed and/or stereotyping -- what then?). Sometimes it's difficult to find the right balance.

Bearing that in mind, you're a fan, so why shouldn't you pleased? Would it be so different if an old and trusted friend did the same thing, or contrariwise if an old and trusted friend suddenly turned out to be a loathsome bigot? Of course you'd be pleased in the first case, and upset in the second. If, as you say, Springsteen doesn't make many public political statements, it's all the more significant that he spoke out on this issue.

Happy Holidays, and Bah, humbug!