An English In Kentucky



















November 16th 2009

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    Some part of me on Midsummer Day decides that winter has pretty much arrived.   And this even if yellow iris still bloom profusely in Mid-November.

   It would be easy to think of my own calendar as consisting of a line containing a down-hill part and an up-hill part.  But the matter of which part of the year is up-hill and which part of the year is down-hill is hard to resolve.

   Up-hill suggests struggle, growling engines or aching legs.  So I suppose the path from Midsummer Day to Midwinter Day is apparently the up-hill part of my year.  And yet this does not sit right in my imagination, where this time of year presents itself as down-hill.  However, it hardly seems right to think of the path from Midwinter Day to Midsummer day as an up-hill struggle.



    The answer may be that an up-hill/down-hill analogy is conceptually flawed.   Down-hill describes slovenly retreat, that coasting of frail character into the nadir.  On the other hand aching muscles and growling engines describes that search for achievement, that reaching the summit, that moment where X is achieved.

    The problem may be with patterns that repeat.  There can be no down-hill or up-hill when the view from the summit is predictable.  The problem also might be with the idea of line, because in an expanding universe there are no straight lines to express the perfect spot between up and down, there is only the infinite curve.

    Necessary though to resolve this issue, because as a point on my line of calendar I always seem to be aware of a most tiresome up-hillness and  a down-hillness, that reflects which side of Midwinter Day I am on.

    To put it another way, Midwinter Day is a day of celebration for me, while Midsummer Day is a day of mourning, and this seems upside down.

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tim candler

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(Mayan Calendar)