Feeling the Heat of the New Year
by Art Goodtimes
Dec 31, 2009 | 953 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
UP BEAR CREEK GREGORIAN YEAR’S END … Calendars. I’m obsessed with them. Not the paper propaganda magnets we affix our walls and refrigerator doors. But the actual dating system we use to mark our brief mortal uncoiling on Berrier’s comic (if abridged) stage. Why are we still dating things from Christ’s birth if we’re not a Christian nation? … Or did we never really separate spirit and governance in this land of ours? How could what we believe not infuse how we live? … Personally I think the founding elders intended that we separate one religion from one nation. That there be no theocracy, but that all sincere creeds be honored and respected. … In county government we open our public meetings with a moment of silence. In that silence I like to believe that all manifestations of the mystery are invoked. But what happens if some citizens are not wholly convinced of the One God concept, would they still have to take His name (in vain) in the American pledge of allegiance? … Question and mystery. These seem to be the twin stars that guide our Kon-Tikis across the Pacific of Darwinian time. Q&M are with us as memories from the last 365 (or so) days. And, Janus-like, we dream Q&M to come in a conceptual framework fashioned by a pope and an emperor … Personally I like a more Democratic and archaeologic calendar as fashioned by Gary Snyder which stretches back more than 40,000 years ago, when our species appears to have shifted from instinct to culture – a calendar adjusted to mimic the current counting system’s millennial spin. 50010 instead of 2010 … Thus, we extend our calendric reach back to our earliest cultural lineage.

ANOTHER GREAT IDEA … Look, it’s hard times for a lot of folks. Sons and daughters are once again mired in foreign wars. The dollar is plunging. Good jobs gone … I think it’s time we laid the Old Saint Nick of the mercantilists to rest. We’ve got to stop this orgy of gift-giving surrounding Christmas – a most holy time for many. Especially with all its expectations gift wrapped, new and returnable … No, instead, let’s start a different tradition. “Let’s Give Old Gifts for the New Year!” The used. The able to be recycled. The unwanted Christmas presents that deserve a good home. Letting go treasures to someone you know (or perhaps don’t know). Even odi et amo … Or maybe best yet, welcoming in the new by getting rid of all the old – anything not wanted or needed. The New Year could become our national day of giveaway. The day we pass on what we’ve used, just as we will pass on in our day … We have been blessed to be born in a very rich nation. Given our American genius, we ought to be able to figure out a grassroots way to redistribute wealth without invoking governmental fiat.

PARTISAN SHOT … Bob McConnell (who?) is running against John Salazar for the Third Congressional seat here in Colorado. You may have seen his ridiculous letter to the editor that the Brand X paper printed, in which he takes our rancher Democrat to task for not creating more jobs but rather sponsoring a useless wilderness bill John’s constituents in three counties overwhelmingly support. That’s right, that’s our San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act – slated for its first hearing in January of the New Year … I’d say pay no attention to McConnell’s political jockeying, but then who’s paying attention to any Republican these days anyway?

WEEKLY QUOTA … “Our sun was a gas clump compressed in the shock wave front from a massive star birth in a giant cloud of molecular gas.” – Scientific American

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN … Okay, maybe I shouldn’t put my complete trust in SA, much as I enjoy catching up on the latest theory of things (Things that seem, like Democrates said, to always be in flux). Their recent commentary by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University’s Earth Institute – which painted nuclear as an essential part of any future energy solution – disturbed me. I don’t agree … But Sachs is a widely respected scientist and head of several laudable public service groups. So, perhaps it’s time for Pres. Obama to call for a National Task Force to begin a far-reaching social debate about nuclear power – before we commit another generation of resources to this controversial and star-crossed energy source.

The solstice gives us each another chance,
we rest, we sleep, we wash, rejoin the dance.
Again we pull the plants up, burst the seed
and mold the lambs and lions, meanwhile, need…
meanwhile, year’s worth of blood and rot and moss,
and how I need a candle to burn off the dross
and chaff of Denver, Senegal, the tropes of
Copenhagen, worn out themes, yearn, weary,
toss, turn, note the loss of dreams.
Burn. Ok, burn.

And smoke gets in your eyes,
the old songs are the true songs,
so they say, moon june, tune and wrack and ruin, etc.,
must be why
we hitch our next bright chapter to the sky

come light, dear light, come glitter, flood and glow
burning we come in, and burning go
the flaming world sheds light, and we can handle
the sassy sun’s sweet game, each life a candle

-Pamela Zoline

Telluride & Florence

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