". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Time When the World Halts (We Wish . . . .RIP, The Gun-Murdered Many This Year)

December is currently my favorite month. Especially this year with the temperatures and weather generally mild. It's breathtakingly beautiful. The concerted pocket garden and tree planting that's been going on for the last 25 years really pays off at this time of the year, Brilliant colors on the foliage still clinging to twigs, branches and stems, but thinned out so the bones of the skeleton which they usually veil show through.

I barely touch the sidewalk, in a dream-state.  I hear Winter's approach. Time and time again, I must stop, catch my breath and admire. The southern slant of the light shines through the gauzes that time has made of the leaves like it does through my friend's martini glass when she toasts me for surviving 9 weeks non-stop promotion of The American Slave Coast, when we meet for an al fresco lunch in one of the pocket parks.  Lovely lady: she brings martinis in a flask and crystal martini glasses.

I've not been feeling much love for my city lately, but still, Manhattan in December, particularly by mid-afternoon and early evening, is a magical place. It crackles with delight and anticipation as people rush from work to bars, restaurants, home to dress for a Christmas party, the decorative lights brilliant, the stores' windows whimsical and enticing fantasy lands of winter and holiday dreams.

The White House  Christmas 2015
A Hall of Snowflakes.
 There are different snowflakes, including a special one designed for each state.

The lovely time of year, the crawl up to the winter solstice, is here, days of light filtered through the ending of another yearly cycle, night dark and sweet as deep piled blue velvet. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the greatest poetic tribute to Christmas, was written about this time of year.

Party time and hibernation time.  For ex, two mornings in a row now, we haven't gotten out of bed until 11:30!  That never happens!  But it does this week, it seems. Wassail for all!  And good night!

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