[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

To Everything, Turn, Turn, Turn
17 December 2010

[Hammer Smashing a Henge] There are rhythms to life. The seasons change and with those changes come changes in our habits - in what we wear, to be sure, and if we are trying to eat locally, in what we eat. (See the recipe for gratin.)

These days, in many places, we can reduce the impact of the seasons in a way that would have seemed miraculous only a few hundred years ago. We use electric light to escape the tyranny of short winter days. We use air-conditioning so that we can work in the heat of high summer. If we wish, and have the funds, we can eat grapes in the dead of winter. This act was sufficiently supernatural that Dr. Faustus used it as proof of Mephistopheles' power in Marlowe's play.(In Scene XII). Now, we scarcely give a thought to something that was witchcraft for most of history. For most of us, in the US of A, there are no worries about the dark days of Lent, when the salt meat is running out and the new greens are not yet up.

But we can't escape seasons that easily. We co-opt the name and create our own seasons. We speak of flu season, or football season, and have been doing so for a couple of thousand years now. Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3 (and later Pete Seeger and the Byrds) tell us, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." (Does this mean there is a Biblical injunction to call it "basketball season?")

We are creatures of habit, all of us, to some extent. We like cycles and rhythms. We call them traditions, oft-times. Like salmon, we regularly return to our ancient homes, perhaps not to spawn, but to celebrate Thanksgiving, or the mid-Winter holiday of our religious or secular preference, or some other annual rite. These events circumscribe our lives as the seasons of the natural world bounded those of our ancestors. They comfort us. They let us put things which are beyond us into a human scale. In some way, they make the world manageable.

So, let us embrace the changing seasons, whether forced on us by axial tilt and orbital distance, or by our own making.


[Cars in the Snow]

The author has his own seasonal traditions, a lot of them having to do with food. © 2010 Jeff Berry
The Aspiring Luddite