DISPATCHES
Approaching Winter Solstice
by Rob Schultheis
Dec 02, 2010 | 909 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There’s not much keeping the world spinning around these days, rotating it fast enough so we don’t all go flying off.  Maybe the universe would be happier if we did – go flying off, I mean. 

Bye-bye Homo Sap(iens),  the Ape Who Thought He Was God because he tinkered together a few malignant gadgets and demonic machines.  The planet still has enough juice in her to heal the wounds we’ve made, to grow new skin over the holes we’ve punched in her flesh, to sprout fresh forests and grasslands, fens, bogs, maquis, and mangrove archipelagos, and send fiery fusillades of birds, beasts, fish, a hundred thousand Ghost Dances’ worth of fauna, arcing out-onto the lands, seas and skies….

I wouldn’t like to bet on us sticking around forever, that’s for sure.  Our reign on earth has lasted maybe half of an Augenblick, a blink of an eye. We may think of our history in high and mighty terms: a Grand Opera of wars, empires, visions, prophets and sages, art, music and poetry, but I’m not sure the Guardians of the Cosmos are all that impressed.  

We’re still slaughtering each other piecemeal, making piano keys out of wise old elephants’ tusks and carving the Great Blue Whales up into sashimi, clear-cutting the last old growth forests on earth as fast as we can and fishing the seas till they’re empty: hardly “created in God’s image” material. Despite all this, the Guardians and Caretakers still haven’t run out of patience:  Crop Circles are still appearing, in ever more fantastic and beautiful forms, Living Buddhas are continuing to reincarnate themselves, medicine men, singers, shamans and other benevolent tribal wizards everywhere are laboring to keep indispensable ceremonies alive, even though we scoff at their efforts because we think we “know better.”

These are the kinds of thoughts that are crowding into my head in the days that lead up to the Winter Solstice.   The advent of winter is no joke: our ancestors knew this, and treated the dwindling of the sun with the awe and the fear it deserves.   If the sun doesn’t return this time around….

We are so arrogantly cocksure that the universe will do our bidding and our private star re-appear on time, unlike the Ancient Ones, our Grandfathers and Grandmothers who believed that they should re-pay the benevolence of that giant campfire in the sky with honor and respect.  

Twenty-first Century Schizoid Man thinks that the universe owes him a living, that he’s beating, squeezing,  swindling, stealing,  conning the wealth out of it; he hates the non-human world around him,  it’s his victim, mark, prey,  and at the same time a deadly enemy,  always ready to ambush him when he’s least prepared, tear him up and swallow him whole.

He, Schizoid Man, God’s Chosen Heir Apparent and Master of All Existence, is the Schmuck of all Schmucks….  

As the Winter Solstice approaches, I find myself thinking, “What the Hell am I doing here, anyway?   Am I helping push the world into the future, or am I just a third class passenger with a discount ticket, along for the ride and nothing more?” 

It's easy to be a smartass, but a lot harder to pry your smart ass out of your easy chair to put it in harm's way. I don’t have that much bloody time; another year has slipped by, and I didn’t do a tenth of what I should have, and how many more solstices am I going to see?  I’d better start thinking straight and shooting true, not losing a moment, a breath or a chance. To do less would be unbearable, unforgivable, and I’ve already wasted so much time, so much space, so many chances missed.

This knowledge is the Pole Star for my 2011, burning mercilessly in my private sky.
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