Thursday, January 01, 2015

Winter's Mysticism

Up all New Year's Eve and now into New Year's Day, having napped extensively yesterday afternoon. About 6 this morning, the predicted freezing rain started falling --- I briefly opened my blinds AND window to get a whiff of the bracing head-clearing-ness. I like winter. I miss the season of snow and ice from when I lived up north. The phrase "winter's mysticism" came to mind, because the snow and ice ARE mystical to me.

When I did an online search for the phrase "winter's mysticism," Shakespeare's Sonnet 6 came up first:

Then let not winter’s ragged hand deface
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distilled:
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place
With beauty’s treasure, ere it be self-killed.
That use is not forbidden usury,
Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
That’s for thyself to breed another thee,
Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;
Ten times thyself were happier than thou art,
If ten of thine ten times refigured thee:
Then what could death do, if thou shouldst depart,
Leaving thee living in posterity?
Be not self-willed, for thou art much too fair,
To be death’s conquest and make worms thine heir.

Several online interpretations of the sonnet determined that Shakespeare was urging either a young woman or a young man to literally procreate! Myself, I saw it as Shakespeare urging the importance of having a deep well of resources, a core of spring, to draw on that outer circumstances could not affect. And not feeling guilty about drawing upon such.

Then let not winter’s ragged hand deface
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distilled:
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place
With beauty’s treasure, ere it be self-killed.
That use is not forbidden usury...

And the "That's for thyself to breed another thee": Your interpretation of your world! And thus your passing along of the core of yourself.

Ten times thyself were happier than thou art,
If ten of thine ten times refigured thee:
Then what could death do, if thou shouldst depart,
Leaving thee living in posterity?

What you pass along in your art ensures that you will live for posterity.

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