I have so many thoughts on this and I just want to try and write them down.
First. I am not a Christian. There is no one in my household who is a Christian. I am a pagan. A witch, thanks very much. This is no secret in my workplace. It’s not like I walked in and said, “HEY I’M A PAGAN”. But one day in conversation that fact was made plain. (Which should not have been a surprise considering I have worn jewelry with pagan symbols for 6 years. Just sayin’.) Although I do believe it is easier for folks who are uncomfortable with that fact to ignore the obvious until it is plainly stated.
More background. I work in an environment that is ….. difficult. There are issues with race, gender, educational level, and socio-economic class in an unnaturally forced blue collar-white collar environment. Add in the very potent brew of religious difference, overlay it with the seemingly outsized importance of the Christmas holiday and it is a formula for great unease. To be fair, on both parts. Mine and theirs. The situation is not helped by the holiday parties, holiday cards, and holiday wishes from the institution where we all labor. I do understand that large institutions must appear to be ecumenical whether there is a genuine interest or not. It’s just good business. It costs nothing and avoids problems. And I do believe at my place of employment on the macro level that the sentiment is genuine. On the micro level it is just a mess.
Here are my thoughts on this. I really do not want to be lumped in as an afterthought on the ‘holidays’. I actually find it offensive. On this I share common ground with the Christmas crowd. Conflating Yule/Solstice, Hanukkah, or any other Winter holiday with Christmas is not cool. Our traditions and beliefs are not some diminutive form of Christmas that must be grudgingly included in the seasonal festivities. They are rich and special in their own right. And they pre-date the Christmas holiday by millenium. There is a grand irony that the last folk to join in the Winter festivities are the ones viewing all those who came before as the usurpers. BTW, I’ll just mention that I have no hard feelings that you are using pagan traditions and symbols when you celebrate. Okay?
To the war on Christmas office contingent wishing anyone “Happy Holidays” is offensive. Every year I hear about the war on Christmas, the faux meaning of other religious and cultural experiences, and how it’s Christmas, dammit. Without fail at some point when the holiday ‘spirit’ is in high dudgeon I am asked if I am ready for Christmas. And each year I answer, no, I’m not ready for Christmas because I don’t celebrate Christmas. I’m not sure how to interpret that. At best I could say that it is well meaning but indecipherably ignorant. At worst it is intentional baiting.
I actually find it sad for the war on Christmas crowd at my workplace. To be nursing such a grievance and feeling so under seige when you are in the majority doesn’t make any sense to me especially when you celebrate a season that has as one of its basic tenets ‘good will towards men’.
photo credit for Hannukah menorah: dirtydog2003 via photopin cc
By the Grace of the Goddess more snow came today which means one less day of going to work.
Arrived this morning. First snow.
Herb Garden in the Snow
Holy crap the greatness that is this movie! I was lukewarm about the original Thor movie. I felt that one really dragged when the action was set on Earth (Midgard) and that the strength of that movie was anything and everything to do with Asgard. Apparently the producers of The Dark World pretty much agreed with me because this flick is Asgard heavy and that is a total win.
I am bone tired of comic book movies but this flick works because it does not play as a comic book hero in a comic book plotline. This plays more as mythology on a very grand scale. The visuals are incredible. The soundtrack is incredible. The performances are outstanding. (Idris Elba I love you as Heimdall.) The only wee negative is the character of Darcy. Wow. Annoying. Please fix that in the upcoming sequels.
The absolute scene stealer is Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Oh my goodness. He was a big bright spot in the first Thor movie and in The Avengers. He shines even more brilliantly in Dark World. I think this was the best movie I’ve seen all year.
This past Saturday we wandered down to Conowingo Dam to watch some eagles. The first thing we saw was THIS:
But there were eagles. And vultures!
photo by D. Klapholz
photo by D. Klapholz
But the best thing, the very best thing, I saw all day was …. TRIXIE!
“Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that are highly scripted. You are supposed to spend it with other people — especially with family. All jokes and sitcoms aside, you are supposed to want to spend it that way.”
Table for one, please. A solo Thanksgiving. From NPR in 2012.
The comments section is truly required reading.
The number one reason to go to the Siege. WILLIAM THE AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG.
William! the Australian Cattle Dog
I have to say I really enjoyed drawing the corn. The tutorial on how to draw a corn cob is from Noupe.
illustration for an eco report
Day trip down to Dover to see the Air Mobility Command Museum . Wow. What a great museum (except for the creepy dummies) and it is totally free. We brought a picnic lunch, walked the airfield and toured the hangar museum. Some of the planes are open so you can actually see the interiors. One of the stars of the airfield is Air Force Two, recently retired. Unfortunately it was not open the day we were there, but the place is so cool I’d go back just to see the inside of Air Force Two.
On the ride home we opted for Route 9. Slower but oh so scenic. It meanders along the coastal area of Delaware right along the various wildlife refuges and preserved areas. Bombay Hook being the largest. We stopped on occasion to just sit and watch the birds and enjoy the quiet. HIGHLY RECOMMEND ROUTE NINE.
Working project of a bird in white and black charcoal on toned paper.
Startup sketch for a Monardia plant, commonly known as Beebalm. Final intent after detail sketch is watercolor.