Friday, December 22, 2006


It's the middle of the night of the longest night of the year;
tomorrow the days finally start getting longer
as the northern hemisphere will begin to tilt away from winter solstice...
(Those who don't live at a northern latitude might find people's daylight-obsessions up here, well, obsessive...
a few years of wintertime light-starvation would give you insight...)

Although the days are short right now,
the low angle of the sun does make for the occasional spectacular sunrise when the grey lifts,
such as this scene from 8:00 a couple of days ago:

...and then by 4:15 p.m, the sun is already going down again, ("sunrise,... sunset,...swiftly go the days" oy...)
turning Rainier's snow-blown slopes purple in the afternoon-night:

Now, on to the 'sun-worship' portion of tonight's posting. Thus, this photo of a Nicaraguan church:

The Iglesia de San Juan Bautista de Subtiava, begun in 1698, presides over the opposite end of León from where my wife and I lived last year. Age lends its slight decreptitude a patina of stateliness, no?

When you enter the pillared interior, look up, and you'll see this: The Spaniards carved and mounted this gilt-tinged sun in an effort to persuade the local Subtiava índios to come worship in the new structure. 'You worship your god, I'll worship mine--let's just all do so under the same roof.' Something like that, at least. Evidently, the artistic endeavor paid off, and for three centuries now the religious syncretism has been at work. Sun-worship, colonial-Nica-style...

( On the longest night of the year, isn't it appropriate to mention sun-worship, especially with Christmas coming up, what with its links to Saturnalia and 'The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun' in Roman times? )

On a non-sun theme, Paquito our parrotlet began repeating something new today--and it's most definitely Nica-related: "Va pue'!" That thoroughly and unmistakably Nicaruguan phrase can mean so many things: "okay, then"..."I hear ya man"..."see you later"..."take care"...

So, then: May the sun shine on you, dear reader. Va pue'!

1 comment:

  1. Nice entry. I agree... that Dec 21st is a landmark, even for those of us who just crave a wee bit more daylinght! Looking forward to seeing you and S soon.