In a way, it has been a short month as the last News posting was mid-December; I realise, then, that I have already dealt with half of last month’s news – the last weeks of my time in South America (Wine tasting and guitar course).
However, the Christmas period is always a busy time, and I seem to have hit the ground running. The next day after my return I was in the university and then off on a one-day Satsang with Satyananda. I am going to transcribe my dialogues with him for the Satsang section of this website. The two sessions will be called: Freedom of Thinking and the Anatomy of Consciousness. Coming soon – just as quickly as I can transcribe….
It was also my birthday. I go to Bath for one of my favourite walks, and it is a lovely sunny day. The light here in December is so crystaline.
And, so we move to the Solstice – as always, I sense the change immediately: the sun is now returning to this part of the world.
Not so evident though on stormy coasts with the winter to come:
Whilst in London I see a couple of exhibitions. Firstly, one at the British Museum – a remarkable show on the Scythians, who were tribes in Siberia around 2 – 400 years BC. Fascinating people who left a treasure of jewelry and other artifacts which show the lives of these nomad, horse based people. In fact, it offers us more than what we have from similar times in the UK. It also demonstrates just how sophisticated they were, and the beliefs that orientated them. Unsurprisingly, the sun was an important god to them.
The other exhibition was of Cezanne portraits. Truly amazing and sets out how he was pretty much the father of modernism – that is before Picasso and Braque, etc. And, he seems to have accomplished this just by repeated and intense observation of the human figure. He certainly predates people like Spencer and Freud in his capture of the spirit of individual sitters.
So, Christmas! I elect to spend it on my own – a quiet time to reflect and indulge oneself. I make it super traditional with a tree and lights/ candles.
The Christmas day meal begins with salmon, then it is the traditional roast, and Christmas pudding.
The thing then is to settle by the fire and read. We have a tradition here of murder and ghost stories at Christmas (not sure why!?), so again I indulge in some of these. They are always of a certain cosy tradition – nothing too horrific, more intrigue in terms of the twists and turns of the plot.
However, given the very troubled times we live in, I also decide to ‘regroup’ a bit – intellectually, that is. So, a somewhat light hearted account of where this all began:
Lots and lots of Christmas music, but one of the finest is of the gospel group, The Blind Boys of Alabama singing traditional Christmas songs. Sublime: