Wed. Jul 24th, 2024
Mid Winter Gozebo @2010 Karla Fetrow

By:Karla Fetrow

These are the hours of darkness, of nights so long and frigid, time itself heaves to a standstill.  The dull ache of rising to a morning filled with blackness, the reluctant light returning in dull grey shades against a backdrop of blue mountains.  The blue fills up the vision.  Deep blue against grey skies and rattling trees.  Deep blue dropping heavily, folding in more hours of darkness within a few hours.  No sun on the horizon, not one golden ray, only a stark, ravaged world of twilight and night.

So death like the sleep, so heavy the dreaming.  It sinks down, below the mantle of snow, down, below the iron hard earth, into the cradle of roots softly twisting and turning, the tendrils weeping for warmth.  There the dream nestles as the shadow passes over, as the black night turns crisp with stars.  The light continues to dwindle, minutes at a time until the sweeping hand of deep velvet is all you remember.

This is the reality of the far north; a summer of endless days, a winter of nights.  It is a time of taking away.  The reserves, so hardy in October, are staggering under December’s demands.  The old, the sick and the weak fall like trees in a wind storm.  It is a time for grief, for memories.  Yet, our sorrows do not drown us.

On December 21st., the clock begins ticking back in the other direction.  The hours of sunlight so quickly lost, we slowly begin to gain back.  There is no immediate, noticeable change; we have gone too deeply into the shadow, facing the endless stars instead of the sun, and the rotation is sluggish at first; two extra minutes today, a couple tomorrow, practically meaningless when you’re getting only five hours of near daylight before evening returns.

spirit of light @2008 Regina Fetrow

But something happens deep inside.  Something in the dream resting under layers of winter’s covers.  Something in the tendrils burrowed in the ground, remembering at last to reawaken.  It is a movement.  Be not afraid for I bring you tidings of great joy…

It is marvelous this burst called life, that is at once both a spark and a sound.  Not a crackle, or an explosion, but inexplicably, indescribably poignant music.  Such gentle, such humble beginnings; the breathless waiting of a slumbering world.  One little note, than another softly whispers.  One agreement.  One accord.  One glistening light gleaming in the wilderness.  It dances.  Through fairy spooked woods and rolling hills, the music thunders.  On the darkest day, the darkest hour, we are alive and something has changed.  We are no longer moving into our slumbers, but into our awakening; no longer walking in the shadow of death, but into renewal.

We live in a candid world, a world of instant communications, a world that has revealed its sorrows, its strife, its truth to its understanding.  These communications that began as a bright new day has carried us into a perception never experienced before; the personal encounter with people we’ve never met, in places we’ve never been to, with viewpoints we’ve never considered.  As a world consciousness, we have evolved.  We’ve become more aware of those around us, the people we effect and how we effect them.  We’ve questioned our moral integrity and examined our ethics.

In many ways, we have not liked the answers.  We’ve discovered that morals are a slippery slope, and morality is a question of cultural/ religious persuasion.  We’ve discovered that ethics can mean doing the unpopular or uncomfortable thing, possibly dissolving our material wealth, possibly jeopardizing our personal well being.  We have learned how much each of us, individually, can tolerate disagreement without hostilities.  We’ve drawn lines.

What these lines have represented were fractures; a splintering of common accord into discord, unity into confusion, effective debate into shouting matches and stand-off’s.  These were the darkest hours, the hours when we searched for a common enemy that was not among our own, when we sought to articulate a truth that drew us together in a clearly defined purpose.

ice berries @2010 Karla Fetrow

For each individual, for every nation, there is the moment to decide between truth and darkness, to blossom forth or become the blight.  In these bleak hours while life slumbers under a mantle of despair, there are many who question their ability to survive out the year.  We are threatened by forces from within and without; loss of jobs, loss of freedoms, poor International relations, environmental disasters, and always, the whispers and rumors of war.  War that would not give the fractures time to heal themselves.  War that would not give us a chance to re-build.

In these bleak hours, it is difficult to say with conviction, “we will survive”.   Or, if we think of survival, we think within the most minimal terms, as survivors of disaster, conflict or homelessness.  The future painted for us looks grim; a future of totalitarianism versus anarchy, a future where a changing climate looms with threats of mass flooding, mass erosion, an increase in earthquakes, sink holes, furious storms and unrelenting hurricanes.  We’ve been careless even with the air; radiating it, filling it with the fumes of noxious chemicals, depleting our oxygen supply by cutting down the rain forests.  The future world promised to us is a hostile one, raining as much war down upon us as we engage in among ourselves.

As we approach the New Year, we are reminded that according to the Calendar of the Mayan, we are approaching the end of a cycle; a cycle of the darkest hours.  This is the cycle of alignment, the quiet tick-tock of the outer stars readdressing their own places in the Universe.  This is the year of upheaval as we pass through the spectrum of the Horizon Event.  This is a year for rejoicing for this is the year of change.

An enemy has been defined.  Not an enemy by nationality, color or politics, but an enemy of deceit.  An enemy of Earth.  An enemy of the people of Earth, an enemy so removed from the common populace, it lacks the emotions for empathy, so focused on profit making enterprise, it fails to acknowledge the destruction in its wake.  The question of the year has been, how do you combat something that controls the resources, global finances and spends billions of dollars each year on media propaganda?

The answer is, because it is propaganda.  This was the first musical note, the child’s exclamation that the Emperor has no clothes.  Although the Emperor might try to continue his fantasy of impeccable taste, the populace has seen and knows what their eyes and a child’s voice has told them is the truth.  The musical note has been answered by another and yet another until the sky is ablaze with an orchestra of sound.  This is the day the sun begins to return.

There are many long, dark hours ahead of us as we grapple with this new awareness of each other.  Leaderless, we must lead ourselves into the monumental tasks ahead of us.  It is a time of great opportunities.  At turn of the twentieth century, with the world rumbling unaware into two great wars, it also rumbled into civil upheaval.  As kings were toppled from their thrones, systems of government were considered to replace them; socialism, communism, popular government, two party or multi-party systems.  The battles were as much internal revolution as they were occupation of other countries.  When the wars finally ended and the smoke had cleared, there were two sharp dividing lines; two governing polarities; capitalism and communism.

Over the years, the political definition of these two ideologies have blurred, the Western democracies supporting the free enterprise of capitalism, shifting more power to the State and the Communist Nations experimenting more and more with democratic process.  This new era, beginning its second decade of the twenty-first century, does not have a defined political view because that statement begins on the individual level; one of self-determination.

There is one equitable law; do no harm to others by intent or carelessness.  No government that shields those who willfully commit harm through irresponsibility, recklessness and squander is a lawful government.  No government that aggressively pursues hostile relationships with its neighbors is a government that behaves lawfully.  No government that needs a militia to enforce its laws is a government worth defending.

These are our darkest hours, but these are the revelations that have come with the year.  We are not alone, we are a part of a global community, filled with caring, compassionate people.  We have a mutual desire for lawfulness and justice.  We are strong.  We have the will and energy to unite for a healthier planet.

It is a time for renewal.  It is a time for rejoicing.  Although the withering branches still tremble in the mid-winter’s storms, the burrowing roots are awakening.  They stir with the remembrance of life, sparkle beneath the deep of evening’s sculpture.  The sun is returning and the music has begun.  As the melody comes together, the words will be clear.  We are each a part of the message, a message that will shape the  new era . Be not afraid.  We cannot define the future because the future is in the hands of the children.  The children hear and they are singing.  The people of the earth are dancing.  The solstice has begun.


By karlsie

Some great perversity of nature decided to give me a tune completely out of keeping with the general symphony; possibly from the moment of conception. I learned to read and speak almost simultaneously. The blurred and muffled world I heard through my first five years of random nerve loss deafness suddenly came alive with the clarity of how those words sounded on paper. I had been liberated for communications. I decided there was nothing more wonderful than writing. It was easier to write than carefully modulate my speech for correct pronunciation, and it was easier to read than patiently follow the movements of people’s lips to learn what they were saying. It was during that dawning time period, while I slowly made the connection that there weren’t that many other people who heard the way I did, halfway between sound and music, half in deafness, that I began to understand that the tune I was following wasn’t quite the same as that of my classmates. I was just a little different. General education taught me not only was I just a little isolated from my classmates, my home was just a little isolated from the outside world. I was born in Alaska, making me part of one of the smallest, quietest minorities on earth. I decided I could live with this. What I couldn’t live with was discovering a few years later, in the opening up of the pipeline, which coincided with my first year of junior college, that there were entire communities of people; more than I could possibly imagine; living impossibly one on top of another in vast cities. It wasn’t even the magnitude of this vision that inspired me so much as the visitors who came from these populous regions and seemed to possess a knowledge so great and secretive I could never learn it in any book. I became at once, very conscious of how rural I was and how little I knew beyond the scope of my environment. I decided it was time to travel. The rest is history; or at least, the content of my stories. I traveled... often to college campuses, dropping in and out of school until one fine day by chance I’d fashioned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I’ve worked a couple of newspapers, had a few poems and stories tossed around in various small presses, never receiving a great deal of money, which I’m assured is the norm for a writer. I spent ten years in Mexico, watching the peso crash. There is some obscure reason why I did this, tightening up my belt and facing hunger, but I believe at the time I said it was for love. Here I am, back home, in my beloved Alaska. I’ve learned somewhat of a worldly viewpoint; at least I like to flatter myself that way. I’ve also learned my rural roots aren’t so bad after all. I work in a small, country store. Every day I greet the same group of local customers, but make no mistake. My store isn’t a scene out of Andy Griffith. The people who enter the establishment, which also includes showers, laundry and movie rentals, are miners, oil workers, truck drivers, construction engineers, dog sled racers and carpenters. Sometimes, on the liquor side, the conversations became adult only in vocabulary. It’s a good thing, on the opposite side of the store is a candy aisle filled with the most astonishing collection, it will keep a kid occupied with just wishing for hours. If you tell your kids they can have just one, you have an instant baby sitter; better than television; as they agonize over their choice while you catch up on the gossip with your neighbor. We also receive a lot of tourists, a lot of foreign visitors. They are usually amazed at this first sign of Alaskan rural life style beyond the insulating hub of the Anchorage bowl. Many of them like to hang around and chat. They gawk at our thieves wanted posters. They laugh at our jokes and camaraderie with our customers. I’ve learned another lesson while working there. You don’t have to go out and find the world. If you wait long enough, it comes to you.

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3 thoughts on “The Solstice and the Beginning of the New Era”
  1. Delightful, Karla!

    Your positivity is absolutely disarming.

    I wish you the warmest holidays on these cold, dark days.


  2. [Quote=Article] This was the first musical note, the child’s exclamation that the Emperor has no clothes. Although the Emperor might try to continue his fantasy of impeccable taste, the populace has seen and knows what their eyes and a child’s voice has told them is the truth. The musical note has been answered by another and yet another until the sky is ablaze with an orchestra of sound. This is the day the sun begins to return.[/quote]

    There’s nothing I’d love to believe more than the idea that simply pointing out the absurdities of present-day social conditions will turn things around, but the “emporor” really doesn’t care if he’s naked anymore (like the one in this comic – ): since the passing of the NDAA the groundwork has been laid for the state to drop all pretenses of being a “democracy” – it’s just a matter of time now before the stormtroops come.

  3. Sh, thank you. I hope your holiday was also enjoyable, no matter what your reason was for celebrating it. The solstice i believe, is the best reason of all. I know it’s difficult for the equatorial zone, with its relatively even distribution of light and warmth, to appreciate the change as much, but it’s an event the polar areas wait breathlessly for. If there had not been a Christ birth to celebrate, the Arctic countries would find a reason to celebrate anyway, because it’s a necessary element for a harsh winter that is only half-way spent. All this fuss about when Christ was born is a moot point to those who see in the celebration a symbol of renewal.

    Azazel, i know establishing that the emperor has no clothes makes no difference to the emperor, but it does to the people who view him. You can not truly stop the masses once they are in movement, no matter how many guns you haul out. And once the children have spoken, the emperor has truly lost because you are now talking about a force that will outlive the emperor, and will always remember what it was like to see the emperor naked.

    The battle is no where near over. It will probably get a lot worse before it begins getting better. But the moment of awareness is upon us, and that is the moment when change begins.

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