Home     Subscribe For Free     Past Issues     About     Contact Us     Visit My Other Sites


Dear Friends,

A light at the end of the tunnel? Out of the darkness and into the light?  But how fast? 

Like so many of you, my daily agenda gets tossed out the window as we re-analyze our covid risks.  Work schedules and holiday plans have been turned upside down.

As my wheels turned and spun ceaselessly, I learned from my friend Beth Owlsdaughter's blog of an old holiday tradition that begins a week or so before Winter Solstice and ends about one week after – The Halcyon Days.  According to the Greek myth of Alcyon, it signified a period of absolute peace and calm on the Mediterranean Sea, when no wind would stir the waters.

Stillness, calmness –– no wind -- you can't sail.

I highly recommend that you read Beth's blog on this myth and how tradition observed it as a period of perfect peace and tranquility -- slowing down, observing nature and doing good works – for others and for oneself.

Which brings us to Winter's threshold; the Solstice.   

On Samhain, October 31st, we entered the Dreamtime; on the Winter Solstice, the dreamtime ends as the light returns.  In the words of my dear friend Phyllis Curott: "The Yule Solstice is a time for us to understand that darkness is not empty, nor frightening. It is a backdrop for us to shine our lights of joy and kindness throughout the world. From darkness and dreams comes the infinite potential out of which all light is born. Now is the time for the dreams we found in the dreamtime to appear before us."

Phyllis will be leading a rite for the Winter Solstice on Facebook and Instagram Live, on Tuesday, December 21st, 8 p.m. EST. 

For those of you who would like to do a simple, at home candle ritual to mark the Yule season, I highly recommend the above link to her newsletter.

As we reflect on the joys and accomplishments we're grateful for, I'd like to share that my studio recently went live with a brand new, re-designed website -- lots of new galleries and fun working pictures of me sharing moments in my creative process.  Lots of moments there that sparked joy for me.   I hope you'll check it out at: http://www.margaretmccarthy.com

I'd love to hear what you think!

This month's VISION AND A VERSE, originally done for Winter Solstice 2013, seemed strangely apropos for our current moment.  The infra-red photo was made at the Crystal Caves in Bermuda; the poem (from my chapbook NOTEBOOKS FROM MYSTERY SCHOOL) is written in alternating lines of 5-7-5 – a kind of extended tanka, ending in 2 lines of 7-7.  

To old friends and new friends who've just joined this site, your heartfelt responses have been a joy that sustained me during this last year.

As always dear friends, stay safe and sound.

 



Winter Solstice - December 21, 2021



Resurrection comes
At strange, unexpected times
Shortest day, longest
Night, how can you signal light's
Return?  Not so fast;

Let me burrow here awhile,
Dream the sun's return,
Then climb out from winter's cave
Stronger from sight's seed.
I'll re-invent creation;

I'll re-birth all creation.

 

 

 

 

Once handed out on street corners, it seemed right to update the broadside* form for our electronic age's street corner - the web. Welcome to A VISION AND A VERSE, an e-Broadside. Four to six times a year, I'll showcase a featured image and poem of mine, matching them on a seasonal or timely theme.

A seasonal celebration and a sharing of my creative process, I hope you'll want to subscribe to future issues. Click here for a free subscription

Margaret McCarthy

*A broadside is a large sheet of paper printed on one side only. Historically, broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements. Today, broadside printing is done by many smaller printers and publishers as a fine art variant, with poems often being available as broadsides, intended to be framed and hung on the wall.
-From Wikipedia