Tuesday, December 24, 2013

24/12/2013: Christmas Eve WLASze: Weekend Links on Arts, Sciences and zero economics


This is Christmas Eve WLASze: Weekend Links on Arts, Sciences and zero economics…

For the evening we are in, here's timeless and epic Komar & Melamid project The Most Unwanted Music composed for DIA, NYC - a homage to… well… the Christmas Jingle starts at 8:35
http://www.wired.com/listening_post/2008/04/a-scientific-at/


A powerful visual of Christmas Eve around the world via The Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304475004579278183520964564


And on to truly sublime - a Christmas Poem by my favourite poet of all times: Joseph Brodsky:

***
DECEMBER 24, 1971

When it’s Christmas we’re all of us magi.
At the grocers’ all slipping and pushing.
Where a tin of halvah, coffee-flavored,
is the cause of a human assault-wave
by a crowd heavy-laden with parcels:
each one his own king, his own camel.

Nylon bags, carrier bags, paper cones,
caps and neckties all twisted up sideways.
Reek of vodka and resin and cod,
orange mandarins, cinnamon, apples.
Floods of faces, no sign of a pathway
toward Bethlehem, shut off by blizzard.

And the bearers of moderate gifts
leap on buses and jam all the doorways,
disappear into courtyards that gape,
though they know that there’s nothing inside there:
not a beast, not a crib, nor yet her,
round whose head gleams a nimbus of gold.

Emptiness. But the mere thought of that
brings forth lights as if out of nowhere.
Herod reigns but the stronger he is,
the more sure, the more certain the wonder.
In the constancy of this relation
is the basic mechanics of Christmas.

That’s what they celebrate everywhere,
for its coming push tables together.
No demand for a star for a while,
but a sort of good will touched with grace
can be seen in all men from afar,
and the shepherds have kindled their fires.

Snow is falling: not smoking but sounding
chimney pots on the roof, every face like a stain.
Herod drinks. Every wife hides her child.
He who comes is a mystery: features
are not known beforehand, men’s hearts may
not be quick to distinguish the stranger.

But when drafts through the doorway disperse
the thick mist of the hours of darkness
and a shape in a shawl stands revealed,
both a newborn and Spirit that’s Holy
in your self you discover; you stare
skyward, and it’s right there:

a star.
***

And another one from Brodsky: 50 years old today:

50 years since: Joseph Brodsky's Christmas 1963:

***
Рождество 1963

Волхвы пришли. Младенец крепко спал.
Звезда светила ярко с небосвода.
Холодный ветер снег в сугроб сгребал.
Шуршал песок. Костер трещал у входа.
Дым шел свечой. Огонь вился крючком.
И тени становились то короче,
то вдруг длинней. Никто не знал кругом,
что жизни счет начнется с этой ночи.
Волхвы пришли. Младенец крепко спал.
Крутые своды ясли окружали.
Кружился снег. Клубился белый пар.
Лежал младенец, и дары лежали.
***


What can I say, but that Christmas is, as Brodsky described it:
"Emptiness. But the mere thought of that
brings forth lights as if out of nowhere."


Merry Christmas to all!

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