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Covering Christmas is Just Like Covering the Solstice, Isn't It?

A Solstice Celebration, Shorter Than the Day’s Long
By Cara Buckley

Sunday morning was a nasty time to be out and about in New York, with cold rain falling hard… and yet 17 people got out of bed anyway, all with the same thought: “I shall go stand in the middle of an intersection in Brooklyn and bang on a drum.”

The occasion was the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. It was a moment of great importance to ancient pagans, and to a set of spiritually inclined people intent on connecting with Mother Earth through the asphalt of New York. Sunday’s ceremony in Brooklyn was convened at Grand Army Plaza, at the mouth of Prospect Park. It was led by Donna Henes, also known as Mama Donna, a self-styled urban shaman and provider of “ritual services” that include weddings, funerals, house and office blessings and energy cleansings…

The stuff in question included a small cast-iron pot, coals, sweet grass and other herbs, drums, maracas, a roadside flare, a clock and long bolts of red fabric, which Ms. Henes twisted and shaped into a large “magic circle” that she lay on the ground a hundred feet or so from the plaza’s soaring arch.

A Christmas Celebration, Shorter Than Day’s Long
By Carl Doely

Wednesday evenning was a nasty time to be out and about in New York, with cold rain falling hard… and yet 87 people got out of bed anyway, all with the same thought: “I shall go sit on a bench in a building in Brooklyn and stand up when asked.”

The occasion was midnight mass on Christmas Eve. It was not a moment of great importance to most Christians until the mid-1800s, but it was now of prime importance to a set of spiritually inclined people intent on connecting with Jesus Christ through the wooden beams of this building of New York. Sunday’s ceremony in Brooklyn was convened near Grand Army Plaza and Prospect Park. It was led by Albert Henkes, also known as Father Albert, a self-styled conduit to Heaven and provider of “ritual services” that include weddings, funerals, house and office blessings and energy cleansings…

The stuff in question included a vessel of incense swung from a chain, a puppet impaled on wooden sticks, an organ, bells, an amplification system and a vessel of red wine, which Father Albert hoisted into the air to turn it into the “magic blood” that he asked his followers to drink.

Carl’s writing would never be accepted for publication in the New York Times. Cara’s writing was accepted. The language of oddity is reserved for the unpopular and unfamiliar.

11 comments to Covering Christmas is Just Like Covering the Solstice, Isn't It?

  • Anonymous

    To All My Democrat Friends:

    Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

    To My Republican Friends:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    • Anonymous, you’ve really hit on something there – life is so much more simple when you can decide what everybody else should do, instead of allowing them to be free to choose their own path.

      The Republican way is to value conformity and obedience to authority. Sadly, many Democrats agree with that. The progressive path, on the other side, is to encourage freedom and respect.

      I know which path makes me truly more merry and happy.

  • dave

    J. Clifford

    It was a joke. Lighten up.

  • dave

    Yes, one can see how merry and happy you are.

  • I am merry and happy in my personal life, and profoundly discontented in my political life. I keep the two separate, dave. Do you?

  • dave

    Nuff said Fred. I’m convinced!

  • dave

    Sorry….can’t help myself. If you’re profoundly discontented in your political life….become a republican.

  • steve

    Lame parody of Ms. Buckley. Don’t give up your day job!

  • no where, man

    Actually, the parody, as I understand it, isn’t of Ms. Buckley, but rather of the ATTITUDE the article takes towards the solstice celebration. The prose is made to look as precisely as the original so one can make a fair comparison. As such, it hits the mark quite nicely, witness the above comments. Merry, Happy, Joyful, y’all!

  • Kevin

    well I, for one, had a very happy solstice. We celebrated the night before by shooting off fireworks and having a large fire in the fireplace.

    and drinking rum bombers. cane rum, coconut rum and dark rum on top…on ice.

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