happy winter solstice!not one soul wished me a happy Winter Solstice today. i could have searched the company of "my people, (as in fellow progressive, humanist, pious and very devout atheists) but duty and work in a dearest friend's project kept me seriously otherwise engaged and indeed wishing it were not xmas already this year. i do enjoy the holidays yet this year, more than ever in my life, i've been made painfully aware of the extents to which humans are willing to go just to hurt each other (even in the na,e of love) and i happen to be constitutionally averse to and dangerously intolerant of wilfull malevolence. but there's plenty round to cheer one up... for instance, have a look at this splendid little gem of an email i found in my inbox today...
«a candy maker in indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the christmas candy cane. he incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of jesus christ.
he began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. white to symbolise the virgin birth and the sinless nature of jesus, and hard to symbolise the solid rock, the foundation of the church, and firmness of the promises of god [sorry, but the rock, the foundation of the church was peter, wasn't he? mr jc himself wasn't even the founder of any church much less christianity in toto. he was born a jew, and born like just about everybody else on the planet, and as a result of the intercourse that mrs m had with someone, presumably her hubby joe, some nine months before the now-famous birth sometime between july and semptember and around eight years earlier than you knew until now...]
the candy maker made the candy in the form of a “j” to represent the precious name of jesus [note that this was most certainly not his name in his native tongue], who came to earth as our saviour. it also represents the staff of the “good shepherd” with which he reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray [i'm glad the shepherds were mentioned for their presence at little jay's birth is one of the indicators the boy wasn't born in december....].
thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes. he used the tree small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging jesus received by which we are healed. [er, could you run that by me one more time?] the large red stripe was for the blood shed by jesus on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life, if only we put our faith and trust in him. [father christmas is one thing, surely, right along with the three wise men and all, but eternal life? not even christmas can make christians forget about death and blood and suffering and guilt. i prefer my winter solstice...]
unfortunately, the candy became known as a candy cane - a meaningless decoration seen at christmas time. but the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear". [and a mouth to eat and job to feed it, i get it... yet the writer still failed to realise she got the whole thing wrong... candy cane is not a meaningless decoration (according to her it means all this stuff) but actually CANDY and meant to be eaten. i love mint... lamb, anyone?]