"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words. " ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Age of Aquarius: It's a Sign!

A SKY WHERE ALL'S ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS
The Constellation Acquarius ~ The Water Carrier or Cupbearer
Photo from Astrology Zone

The Age of Aquarius is both an astronomical and an astrological event. A new age begins, every 2,150 years, each time that the Sun rises in a particular constellation on the morning of the vernal equinox. The transition is imprecise: some say the shift from our current Age of Pisces to the popularly anticipated Age of Aquarius occurred in 2012, while others set the year at 2597.

Looking up at the cold, dark January sky, I wonder about the prophetic words that echo down from the ancient texts and into the songs we sing today. For example, the popular yet melancholy "It Came Upon Midnight Clear," written by Edmund H. Sears in 1849:

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men,
From heaven's all-gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its babel sounds
The bless├Ęd angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The tidings which they bring;
O hush the noise, and cease your strife,
And hear the angels sing.

And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!


Fans of Grey's Anatomy will remember Sixpence None the Richer's beautiful haunting rendition, so different from the usual arrangements by Richard Storrs Willis or Arthur Sullivan. Sadly, Sixpence doesn't include the visionary final stanza, my favorite:

For lo!, the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
[or "By prophets seen of old"]
When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold
[or "Shall come the time foretold"]
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.


I'm similarly drawn to the line in "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing": Late in time, behold Him come [more on this hymn next year].

For now, I'll merely ask, How late in time? When shall this mystic, cosmic time come to pass? Must we wait until "the year 2525"? Or has it perhaps already come and gone, lost somewhere "in the mists of time"? The once and future dispensation. Or, as the kids used to say when they were little, once a time before.

********************

A Song for Dawning

Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In
Sung by The 5th Dimension (1969)

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Aquarius
Aquarius

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation
Aquarius
Aquarius

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Aquarius, Aquarius
Aquarius, Aquarius

Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in


********************

A Song for Evening

As Tears Go By
sung by Mary Ann Faithfull (1964)

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Smiling faces I can see
But not for me
I sit and watch
As tears go by

My riches can't buy everything
I want to hear the children sing
All I hear is the sound
Of rain falling on the ground
I sit and watch
As tears go by

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Doing things I used to do
They think are new
I sit and watch
As tears go by


Songwriters:
Andrew Loog Oldham / Keith Richards / Mick Jagger

********************

Whether or not the Age of Aquarius has arrived,
the zodiacal month (January 20 to February 18) certainly has.
Some of my relatives were born under this sign,
but I'm not naming names:

Click to see more of these astrological funnies,
including my own sign ~ Gemini

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS ON MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Tuesday, February 14th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT ~ Ornaments from Meg & Resolutions
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST ~ Barbara G. Walker on Christmas
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Saturday, January 14, 2017

"The wishes are old, old . . . "

A NEW YEAR WHERE ALL'S ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS
Heading Home by British Artist, Darren Dearden
Picture on our Christmas card from Gerry's Auntie Jan

Vintage Poem & Calligraphy by Gerry's Great Aunt Pol

For this Fortnightly, I offer an assortment of New Year aphorisms to guide you in the formulation of your Resolutions for 2017. "How are they all connected?" you might ask. Here's how:

The priest tells Jackie that we humans are granted just enough -- enough whatever: curiosity, motivation, hope, responsibility -- to jump (or crawl) out of bed and get the coffee going.

Brian Andreas says to pour that coffee into the cup and hold close all that it represents -- a new day, a new year, a new chance, a renewed invitation to love.

Great Auntie Pol reminds us nostalgically that everything old is new again, and everything new is old.

Cousin Dan sums it all up in a sympathetic parable: for whatever is lost, something remains; for whomever we lose, many others remain on the path with us.

And speaking of that path -- Newsies offers a word to the wise: ours is not to run away, ours is to embrace!

Assorted Wisdom for the New Year

~ From Newsies ~

When you go somewhere
and it turns out to be the wrong place,
you can always go somewhere else.
But if you are running away, Jack,
nowhere is ever the right place.


**************

~ From Jackie ~
Film Script @ Indie Wire
Priest [portrayed by actor John Hurt]: There comes a time in your search for meaning, when you realize -- there are no answers. When you come to that horrible, unavoidable realization -- you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you simply stop searching.

I have lived a blessed life. And yet every night when I climb into bed, turn off the lights, and stare into the dark, I wonder -- is this all there is?

Jackie: You wonder?

Priest: Every soul on this planet does. And then, when morning comes, we all wake up and make a pot of coffee.

Jackie: Why do we bother?

Priest: Because we do. You did this morning, and you will again tomorrow. God, in his infinite wisdom, has made sure it is just enough for us.
**************

Brian Andreas says it this way:

**************

And in conclusion,
A New Year's Meditation
from my nephew Dan:
So here's the thing, guys: We're all glad to see 2016 end. It was a hell of a ride; we lost so many talented people (and yet we still have Ted Nugent for some damn reason), had to watch Britain pass an utterly boneheaded motion to leave the EU, and then had to watch America top that with a glib "Here, hold my drink" by electing His Holiness, The High Cheez-It.

But is it all bad? I mean seriously, look at it objectively. There are plenty of indispensable people whom 2016 didn't claim: George Takei, for instance, or Nathan Fillion, or Buzz Aldrin, or or or or or -- I could go on, and we can all take comfort in the fact that if I did, it would be a REALLY long list.

As for political issues, I'm not exaggerating when I say that I've never seen so many people unite against a common enemy. (Scratch that; I've seen it once before, in the weeks following 9/11.) We've all gone out of our way to help each other out, to support our friends and family when they need it; and underlying all of that, there's been one simple statement: You are not alone. We're all in this thing together, and to quote Shepherd Book: "Only one thing is gonna walk you though this . . . Belief." We have to believe in each other, and in the simple idea that things can get better.

Yeesh, pull up your boots, it's gettin' deep in here. ;) Okay, enough of that. Happy New Year!

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS ON MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Saturday, January 28th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com