[Humanist] 22.400 solstitial celebrations and northern longings

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Dec 24 08:27:26 CET 2008

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 400.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2008 16:56:16 +0200
        From: Gerda Elata-Alster <gerda at bgu.ac.il>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.395 more on solstitial celebrations

Dear Jim in Umea,

I's jealous, jaleous. jealous - you have fulfilled a dream I've had from my 
early youth - longer ago than you can perhaps imagine, but still as fresh 
as a budding daffodil: to spend the heart of winter in the far North. It has 
always seemed the to me the only true winter experience: the dark freezing 
cold snowey outside (the outside was never a town, but the edge of a  small 
village, isolated in a vast expanse, which I would cross in a sledge  -  and 
the cozy warmth of a wood fire inside, the hot grog or wine - the room 
smelling of cinnamon and cloves, the winter pastry the Christmas Tree is 
part of that, but I'm perfectly happy with the Menora prescribed by my 

Ironically, neither was born in  the Northern winter, but in the chilly, but 
seldom snowey hills of Judea.

Yet, (born and raised in Vienna and the Netherlands) I was shocked by the 
distinctly mediterranean atmosphere on my first visit to the Nazareth 
Christmas market.

So like you, Jim I have dreamt, and am still dreaming  of a winter in the 
far North - mostly day dreaming - but I can easily see these dreams morph 
into  the local "vivid, hallucinogenic dreams"

Happy Solstice from Jerusalem,

Gerda Elata-Alster

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Humanist Discussion Group" <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
To: <humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 12:26 PM

>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 395.
>         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>        Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 19:28:09 +0100 (CET)
>        From: Jim Barrett <jim.barrett at humlab.umu.se>
>        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 22.392 solstitial celebrations 2008
>        In-Reply-To: <20081221094723.CD62F2A9E6 at woodward.joyent.us>
> Dear Willard,
> I also remember our walk to the antiquarian book shop that fine day here
> in Umeå (Latitude: 63° 50', North).
> I am still here (PhD finished in the fall 2009) and this dark winter I am
> still experiencing "vivid, hallucinogenic dreams"- I am not alone either
> having had several locals say the same thing to me over the years. In
> winter we dream a lot (with around three hours of twilight in the middle
> of the day in December and January)
> I seem to remember it was Mircea Eliade who drew a connection between
> cultures where shamanism played a central role and regions that were
> conjusive to sensory deprivation: tundra, desert, rainforest and the long
> nights of winter in the arctic. While shamanic practices seem fairly
> widespread historically, I like to think that the extreme climate here is
> having an inspirational effect on me.
> On that note. Best wishes for the New Year from the land of the midnight
> sun (and the long winter night).
> /Jim
> (an Australian in Umeå)
[...]> -- 
> PhD Candidate,
> HUMlab.
> Department of Language Studies.
> Umeå University
> +46 (0)90 786 6584
> Umeå University.SE-901 87.Umeå.Sweden
> Blog: http://www.soulsphincter.blogspot.com
> HUMlab: http://www.humlab.umu.se/

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