Some days, I am devastated to find rifts between cultures that seem so difficult to fill. It is very disturbing (even deplorable, sometimes) to see actions stemming from a lack of respect and empathy for those who hold different values and beliefs than oneself.
We live in a highly globalized world these days and we are now much more likely to find differences than similarities with the people we encounter. But this world is the only place any of us can live in, for now anyway, so I cannot help but pray that we will not stop searching for solutions on how to co-exist before we drive ourselves to extinction.
On other days, I am fascinated to find bridges linking cultures that appear so distant to share thoughts. I get extremely excited (and even start dancing, sometimes… not a pretty sight, though!) to see traditions and customs stemming from a wealth of research and experimentation done by different people all arriving at a common understanding.
In the olden days, our ancestors had little means to move around and communicate like we do now, so it was highly unusual for them to encounter people from other cultures. But they all walked on the same grounds beneath and looked up to the same skies above, and gave prayers for the solutions nature gave each of them to exist healthy and prosperously.
Today, I am both devastated and fascinated.
Devastated, to hear the news of a terrorist attack on a crowd at a Christmas market in Berlin.
Fascinated, to learn that winter solstice in many cultures – including my own – is a day to celebrate the return of the sun after the longest night of the year – a day to hope for better things to come.
Maybe today is the day for me to send thoughts and prayers to everyone awaiting the return of the sun.
Maybe you have just had the longest and darkest night of your life, but the world stands by you to bring back light and warmth.
Happy December solstice to everyone, and to all those celebrating the return of the sun, let us share our hope for better things to come!
In my culture, it is said that winter solstice was traditionally a day to cleanse ourselves of impurities by taking a bath with East Asian citrus floating in the tub – the strong scent of the citrus (very sweet and soothing!) is believed to fend off evil – before welcoming the sun back. I have never tried it before, but maybe I will this year with this citrus??
East Asian citrus in my mother tongue is pronounced the same way as the word meaning “flexible” or “adaptive.” I think I need to be a little more flexible with my tatting and adapt it to the design – I like to keep my thread tension fairly tight, but I should have loosened it in today’s piece so the tiny ornamental elements (Josephine knots) could have been more distinct… oh, still so much to learn, but no bother at all if I can fill the rift I see between my fellow tatters and me!