Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winter evening musings


This is a picture of Solstice morning 2006. Listening to Malinky's 'Three Ravens' CD. I like Karine Polwart's clear, flexible voice, and the low whistle. My favorite is the last song on the CD, 'Follow the Heron', a song for singing in mid-winter, to help you remember Spring is already on the way.

'The back of the winter is broken
And light lingers long by the door.
The seeds of the summer have spoken
In gowans that bloom on the shore.'

We're coming up on the longest night next weekend. Solstice is a special night for us, our true anniversary. Not sure I'll be awake til sun-up, but we may get close.

So, while I heartily recommend Malinky if you like Scottish traditional music, I have to say I am not as happy with a CD I just got this week, Allison Crowe's 'Tidings'. It has Christmas carols, but I bought it for the Leonard Cohen song, 'Hallelujah'. I really like the melody, and his words. However, I really don't like Crowe's voice. It's got a harsh quality to it that I find irritating, and she really over-acts the songs. I'm sorry if there are Allison Crowe fans out there that don't agree. It's just my personal preference. Maybe someone I know likes her and I can give it away. But now I need to find another recording of 'Hallelujah' that I like. In particular, I'm looking for the version that was used on a West Wing episode.

Hubby is off playing fiddle at his contra-dance gig, and I'm somewhat annoyed with myself for not going. I probably would have like it fine, but I guess I needed some alone time. So I roasted the pumpkins for the pies I'm making for the Solstice party, wrote the Christmas letter, and made some mailing labels. Did a lot of cleaning today as well, getting ready to put up the tree in the morning.

We have a lot of food to prepare next Saturday, in spite of the fact that it's a pot luck! We're doing a turkey, hubby's (in)famous oyster stuffing (can you believe it, not everyone likes oysters!!), mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, date-walnut cookies, Kourabeides cookies, and mulled cider. With all the amazing things other people bring, it's usually quite a feast. We're hoping for a good jam session as well.

There was a good article published in our local paper last week, about getting back to a simpler celebration of the holidays;
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071111/COL02/711110537/1163
This is my favorite time of year for many reasons; I love traditional holiday music, winter weather, chosing gifts for people I love, and good times with friends and family. But the excessive consumerism, the stress over getting the latest and trendiest gifts, seeing Christmas things in the stores before Thanksgiving - none of that is what the holiday is about.

I hope you and yours are able to celebrate this season the way you love best.

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