journal — winter solstice
It’s 9.47pm: ‘tis the season, solstice, and start of winter.
I had intended to collect little pieces from the 17 (!) weekly letters I’ve written since August (that’s unusual consistency for me), then explain my new pattern when writing them henceforth. It’s fitting, then, that a stomach bug, a series of days without pause with work, stuttering sleep, and a generally low mood — usual for me this time of year — kept that plan from happening. Put simply, how I’ve done this so doesn’t acknowledge that it’s rare for me to get a full week each week.
The plan: schedule a letter for each of the eight annual seasons, every six or seven weeks, rather than every week — and work on other writing between. It’ll still be a list of ten things, but shorter & more considered on each thing.
I’ve got a headache, so for now, here are three quotes I love.
‘They had no more entertaining distractions to take their minds off death and birth, sleep and work, and their prayers to the almighty father and his stricken son when things got awful. So, in my job, it helps if you can smell candles … if you can see their smoke trailing amongst images, threading nave arcades, settling on corbels and bosses, blackening stone too high for the cleaning women to get at.’
A Month in the Country — J L Carr (1980)
‘Without selective interest, experience is an utter chaos.’
How to Do Nothing — Jenny Odell (2019)
‘The peace of winter stars seemed permanent.’
Beloved — Toni Morrison (1987)
& between this evening & Imbolc (1 February), I’ll
find permanent work.
update my season page (& website generally).
write to Analog Sea Review with a hello & pitch.
catch up on: podcasts, Substack writers, Instapaper, and audiobooks.
finally, finally, sort out my board & work my way through it.
Thanks to everyone who spent time reading anything I wrote this year. A lot of it’s been thinking out loud — I hope to have something better to show you soon. Keep well; have a lovely end to your year. If that feels difficult, like it does for me this evening, ground yourself in ‘winter stars’ or a cat’s tummy. The shortest day is done; the light is now coming. That’s how I remind myself: beneath all the nonsense & noise, there’s love & brilliance.