Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday Trakl Blogging

So the xmas decorations and sale items were up even before Samhein. Forget the old custom of waiting until after Thanksgiving. There's a note of desperation in the window displays of the gift store and the pyramids of xmas comestibles in the aisles of the grocery store. People are unlikely to buy as much useless stuff from China this year. And, O'Reilley's begun his ridiculous defense of xmas, daring anyone to wish him a "Happy Holiday." Every year, they start earlier and, by the time that the holiday comes, I'm overwhelmingly relieved to see it gone.

Which is sad, because there really is a lot of value to a holiday of light and warmth and plenty during the deep, dark, cold of winter. Trakl captured the feeling involved in the good such a holiday can do in his poem, A Winter Evening:

A window with falling snow is sprayed.
Long tolls the vesper bell,
The house is provided well,
The table is for many laid.

Wandering ones, more than a few,
Come to the door on darksome traces.
Golden blooms the tree of graces,
Drawing up the Earth's cool dew.

A wanderer quietly steps within;
Pain has turned the threshold to stone.
There lie, in limpid brightness shown,
Upon the table bread and wine.

This poem reminds me of the Five of Pentacles, especially with its clear references to church. Heidegger saw even more in this poem.

Picture found here.

Here's Joanna Colbert's take on the Five of Pentacles. And, here's Lunea Weatherstone's. For me, the Five of Pents will always be mostly about being blind to the warmth and riches available to you. So maybe Trakl's wanderer has already moved beyond the Five of Pentacles and on to the six of pents, where we are all able to both give of our bounty and receive from our need.


xan said...

Not as off-topic as I expected it to be, I post this here as I will never catch the end of an Atrios thread before another one starts. You said:

I don't know who drew it, but I also loved the cartoon in yesterday's WaPo. White guy and black guy leave polling place. White guy: You have to wait long? Black guy: Few hundred years.
Hecate, Runnymeade Conspirator

Doing my data collecting for the National Household Travel Survey, I called a lady yesterday whose travel day, it happened, was Nov. 4. As we were detailing all her trips for the day, the first was to an Elementary School. She mentioned that this was her polling place, but she didn't vote as the line was too long. Well, her next trip was to the doctor's office so this was understandable; trip after that was to work. The trip after that though? Back to that Elementary School at 6:15 PM.

In Lynchburg, Virginia as it happened. As we are absolutely, positively forbidden to engage in "chitchat" with Respondents, I was unable to commend her but I sure hope she could hear the grin.

Thought you would like this story. :)

persephone said...

I guess if I happen to bump into O'Reilly I'll have to wish him a Merry Yule.