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By the way: This is a different melody than the one you’re probably used to, but as I understand it, this is the tune that Burns had in mind when he wrote the words down in the eighteenth century (and in this performance, there are also a couple of verses sung in Gaelic. so if you all of a sudden don’t understand what they’re singing, don’t worry [probably]).



Lyrics behind here. )
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...And performed by Raymond Cooke.

I just heard this for the first time a few minutes ago. And considering my circles, I couldn't think of a better "Holiday Greeting Card" to share with you all:

Happy 2013!

Jan. 1st, 2013 12:02 am
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Well, they're shooting off the fireworks in Chesapeake, Virginia (actually started about twenty minutes ago... but just now is when the really loud bangs went off, and scared the cat out of my lap).

Let's hope it also scares the bad luck and sadness away, too, shall we?

Love to you all!
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In Memoriam (Ring out, Wild Bells) by Alfred Lord Tennyson )

And the other day (Yesterday? or was it the day before?) I got the idea in my head to write my own poem, following these sentiments-- but from a Humanist/Agnostic/Atheist perspective, instead of a Christian one.

Something about how, although, strictly speaking, picking one day as the New Year is arbitrary-- there's really little difference between one minute and the next, even if we give those minutes, days, years, different names.

But-- But -- BUT -- the very act of collectively, as a society, to agree to let go of the past and take a deep breath full of hope-- this is still and always be, a moment and an action of profound Grace. And, like anarchy, it has little meaning done alone, but a great deal of meaning when done as a society.

I don't think I will complete this poem before midnight, my time (little more than three hours from now). But maybe I'll complete it before the passing of Orthodox Christmas...
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(I'm typing this with a cat firmly anchored in the crook of my right arm. There is no dislodging her)

57 minutes.

I've had this vague thought that I should write something New Yearsy today. But to tell the truth, I've been drawing a blank.

55 minutes.

Things I've been thinking about instead:

1) Douglas Adams and Richard Dawkins. They were sort of a pair when it came to speaking about their atheism -- I think Dawkins invited Adams to read from HHttG at one of his lectures, iirc. So I've kind of been puzzling through why Dawkins makes me clench my jaw after reading through three successive paragraphs, and Adams fills me with warm fuzzies. And I think I've figured it out: As a writer of speculative, humorous, fiction, Adams recognized that even if a story were untrue it still has worth, even if it's a religious story.

2) I'm really liking the way the series Chuck is winding up its final season. The Intersect, the hi-tech pseudo-scientific, quasi-magical plot device which has driven everything in the previous four seasons has been completely written out (saying how would be spoilers), but the story continues without it, based on the characters (who'd of thunk it?), and what they've learned and how they've changed because of the Intersect. Even though it's not there, now.

Really. Characters who are written as people who can be interesting even without the hook that got the show made in the first place. Wow.

I'm going to keep my eye out for this writing team, to see what they come up with in the future. Because that? is something every genre of series TV needs.

38 minutes.

3) My monster bear. That's what I've been working on this weekend. I'm working from the smallest, fiddly pieces up to the large central torso. So far, I have the snout, ears, and one arm sewn. The arm is... a lot skinnier, turned right side out, than I thought it would be. The main body is a "bright" maroon (not bright, bright, but vivid, and more red then blue) and for the highlight color (inside the mouth, the inner ears and inner arms) is gold-ish (recycled sweatpants that I first bought for my second attempt at my freshman year of college ... 25 years ago?) So my bear will be a mix of new and old. I hope the body won't turn out as proportionally skinny as the arms did -- or at least, that one arm.

27 minutes

4) 2011 was a mixed bag. Emotionally, I think I was just sadder than my normal average. But I did some / am doing some nifty stuff (Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream, my Zazzle store)

5) There is a New Year's Carol (which was considered nostalgic and old fashioned in 1647) with this as a second verse:

And now, with new years gifts, each friend
Unto each other they do send;
God grant we may our lives amend
And that the truth may appear.
Now like the snake cast off your skin
Of evil thoughts and wicked sin,
And to amend this new year begin
God send us a merry new year.

(To the tune of Greensleeves)

I wish New Year's was the Big, Gift-Giving Holiday, instead of Christmas. Because it's a (mostly) secular day; even cultures with different Official New Year days (Chinese, Jewish, Persian, etc.) recognize the Common Era calender, for business, if nothing else. So it's got the energy of a global cultural push behind it. And people could exchange gifts without wondering what holiday name to tack in front of it, and worry if they're using the wrong one.

And that global energy is one reason why the New Year (9 minutes) is a bigger, more emotional holiday for me, personally. But, because of all the local emphasis on December 25, nearly every one else around me is burned out just when I'm starting to want to sing.

(I guess this turned into a New Yearsy post after all.)

6-something minutes...

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