Jesucristo, el Gran Chamán: las pinturas de Norval Morrisseau, el mejor pintor canadiense del siglo XX / Jesus Christ, the Shaman: the paintings of Norval Morrisseau, Canada’s greatest painter of the 20th century

Norval Morrisseau_Jesucristo el Indio_Indian Jesus Christ_1974

Norval Morrisseau_Jesucristo el Indio_Indian Jesus Christ_1974

Norval Morrisseau_El Infante Jesús_Escena de Natividad_Detalle_The Infant Jesus_Nativity Scene_Detail_acrylic on canvas_1972

Norval Morrisseau_El Infante Jesús_Escena de Natividad_Detalle_The Infant Jesus_Nativity Scene_Detail_acrylic on canvas_1972

 

Sólo es que mis pinturas te recordan que eres Indio. En algún lugar, dentro, somos todos Indios. Entonces ahora cuando me hago amigo de tí, estoy intentando suscitar en tí el ser Indio – para que creerás en Todo como Sagrado.

(Norval Morrisseau  / ᐅᓴᐘᐱᑯᐱᓀᓯ  1932-2007)

.

My paintings only remind you that you’re an Indian. Inside somewhere, we’re all Indians. So now, when I befriend you, I’m trying to get the best Indian, bring out the Indianness in you, to make you think Everything Is Sacred.

(Norval Morrisseau  /  ᐅᓴᐘᐱᑯᐱᓀᓯ  1932-2007)

Norval Morrisseau_Transformación de un Chamán con Osos _Shaman Transforming with Bears_1986

Norval Morrisseau_Transformación de un Chamán con Osos _Shaman Transforming with Bears_1986

Norval Morrisseau_Pájaro de Trueno y Golondrinas_Thunderbird and Swallows

Norval Morrisseau_Pájaro de Trueno y Golondrinas_Thunderbird and Swallows

Desde siempre estoy atraído por las pinturas religiosas, pero únicamente aquellas que tienen una naturaleza mística y supernatural – por ejemplo, la escultura de Santa Teresa por Bernini. Me da “vibraciones” – cuando cierro los ojos puedo sentirlas. Eso es gran Arte – y provoca en mí un hormigueo sexual. También occurre con San Sebastián. Pero es la figura del Jesucristo que es, para mí, la figura dominante. Así que por eso Cristo es El Gran Chamán – El Mejor. Así que por eso ciertas visiones religiosas son tan complejas y difícil explicar a la gente. Pues cuando miras mis pinturas estás mirando mis “visiones” – lo que sea que sean.

.

I have always been attracted to religious paintings, but only the ones that had that mystical or supernatural quality in them, especially Saint Teresa by Bernini. Just looking at Saint Teresa I get vibrations from it. I can close my eyes and feel them. That’s great art, and it brings on that tingling sexual feeling. Other saints, like Saint Sebastian, do that as well. But the Christ figure was always the one that was dominant for me.That’s why I say that Christ to me is still The Greatest Shaman, and that is why some religious visions are so complex – and so very hard to explain to people. So whenever you’re looking at my pictures, you are looking at my visions – whatever they may be.

Norval Morrisseau_Desplazamiento_La Gran Inundación_Migration_The Great Flood_1973

Norval Morrisseau_Desplazamiento_La Gran Inundación_Migration_The Great Flood_1973

Norval Morrisseau_Madre y Bebé_Mother and Child_1969

Norval Morrisseau_Madre y Bebé_Mother and Child_1969

Nosotros – los Nativos – creen en este dicho: Nuestro Dios es Nativo. Y es La Gran Deidad de los Cinco Planos. Somos “ni pro ni contra”, hablamos ni del Cristo ni de Dios. Decimos: Déjalo estar. Seguimos el Espíritu en su Paso Interior del Alma vía actitudes y atenciones.  Recuerda: Estamos en una Escuela Grande…y El Maestro Interior nos enseña Experiencia – durante muchas Vidas.

.

We Natives believe in the following saying: Our God is Native. The Great Deity of the Five Planes is So. We are neither for nor against. We speak not of Christ nor of God. We say: Let them be. We follow the Spirit on its Inward Journey of Soul through attitudes and attentions. Remember: We are all in a Big School and the Inner Master teaches us Experience – over many Lifetimes!

Norval Morrisseau_Creación  _Creation_1970

Norval Morrisseau_Creación _Creation_1970

Norval Morrisseau_Retrato del Artista como el Jesucristo_Portrait of the Artist as Jesus Christ_1966

Norval Morrisseau_Retrato del Artista como el Jesucristo_Portrait of the Artist as Jesus Christ_1966

Norval Morrisseau_Autoretrato devorado por demonios_Selfportrait devoured by demons_1964

Norval Morrisseau_Autoretrato devorado por demonios_Selfportrait devoured by demons_1964

Norval Morrisseau_Oso sagrado del Midawiin Ojibwa_Ojibwa Midawiin Sacred Bear_circa 1962

Norval Morrisseau_Oso sagrado del Midawiin Ojibwa_Ojibwa Midawiin Sacred Bear_circa 1962

.     .     .     .     .


¡Feliz Navidad a Todos! / A Merry Christmas to One and All!

 

Mi Arbolito de Navidad 2013_Toronto, Canadá

Mi Arbolito de Navidad 2013_Toronto, Canadá

Mi Árbolito de Navidad 2013_BMi Árbolito de Navidad 2013_C


“Di Gud Nyuuz bout Jiizas…” / El Nacimiento de Jesús / Jezi te fèt lavil Betleyèm / Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem: Matyu 2:1-11 / Mateo 2:1-11 / Matye 2:1-11 / Matthew 2:1-11

Jamaican Poinsettia, also known as Euphorbia punicea

Jamaican Poinsettia, also known as Euphorbia punicea

An excerpt from Matthew’s telling of the Nativity story – presented here in four languages…

.     .     .

John Wycliffe Bible, printed in 1395, written in “Middle English”:  Matthew 2:1-11

Therfor whanne Jhesus was borun in Bethleem of Juda, in the daies of king Eroude, lo! astromyenes camen fro the eest to Jerusalem, and seiden, Where is he, that is borun king of Jewis? for we han seyn his sterre in the eest, and we comen to worschipe him. But king Eroude herde, and was trublid, and al Jerusalem with hym. And he gaderide to gidre alle the prynces of prestis, and scribis of the puple, and enqueride of hem, where Crist shulde be borun. And thei seiden to hym, In Bethleem of Juda; for so it is writun bi a profete, And thou, Bethleem, the lond of Juda, art not the leest among the prynces of Juda; for of thee a duyk schal go out, that schal gouerne my puple of Israel. Thanne Eroude clepide pryueli the astromyens, and lernyde bisili of hem the tyme of the sterre that apperide to hem. And he sente hem in to Bethleem, and seide, Go ye, and axe ye bisili of the child, and whanne yee han foundun, telle ye it to me, that Y also come, and worschipe hym. And whanne thei hadden herd the kyng, thei wenten forth. And lo! the sterre, that thei siyen in the eest, wente bifore hem, til it cam, and stood aboue, where the child was. And thei siyen the sterre, and ioyeden with a ful greet ioye. And thei entriden in to the hous, and founden the child with Marie, his modir; and thei felden doun, and worschipiden him. And whanne thei hadden openyd her tresouris, thei offryden to hym yiftis, gold, encense, and myrre.

.     .     .

King James Version, 1611:  Matthew 2: 1-11

2:1 Now when Jesus was born
in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king,
behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2:2 Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews?
for we have seen His Star in the east, and are come to worship Him. 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule My people Israel. 2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the Star appeared. 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young Child; and when ye have found Him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship Him also. 2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the Star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.
2:10 When they saw the Star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

.     .     .

Antigua Versión de Casidoro de Reina, 1569:  Mateo 2: 1-11

2:1 Cuando Jesús nació en Belén de Judea en días del rey Herodes, vinieron del oriente a Jerusalén unos magos,
2:2 diciendo: ¿Dónde está el rey de los judíos, que ha nacido? Porque su estrella hemos visto en el oriente, y venimos a adorarle.
2:3 Oyendo esto, el rey Herodes se turbó, y toda Jerusalén con él.
2:4 Y convocados todos los principales sacerdotes, y los escribas del pueblo, les preguntó dónde había de nacer el Cristo
2:5 Ellos le dijeron: En Belén de Judea; porque así está escrito por el profeta:
2:6 Y tú, Belén, de la tierra de Judá,
No eres la más pequeña entre los príncipes de Judá;
Porque de ti saldrá un guiador,
Que apacentará a mi pueblo Israel.
2:7 Entonces Herodes, llamando en secreto a los magos, indagó de ellos diligentemente el tiempo de la aparición de la estrella;
2:8 y enviándolos a Belén, dijo: Id allá y averiguad con diligencia acerca del niño; y cuando le halléis, hacédmelo saber, para que yo también vaya y le adore.
2:9 Ellos, habiendo oído al rey, se fueron; y he aquí la estrella que habían visto en el oriente iba delante de ellos, hasta que llegando, se detuvo sobre donde estaba el niño.
2:10 Y al ver la estrella, se regocijaron con muy grande gozo.
2:11 Y al entrar en la casa, vieron al niño con su madre María, y postrándose, lo adoraron; y abriendo sus tesoros, le ofrecieron presentes: oro, incienso y mirra.

.     .     .

Bible Kréyòl ayisyen/Haitian Creole BibleMatye 2:1-11

2:1 Jezi te fèt lavil Betleyèm nan peyi Jide, sou tan wa Ewòd. Apre li te fèt, kèk nèg save ki konn etidye zetwal yo soti nan peyi solèy leve, yo rive lavil Jerizalèm.

2:2 Yo t’ap mande: Kote wa jwif ki fenk fèt la? Nou wè zetwal li parèt depi nan peyi nou an, nou vin adore li.

2:3 Lè wa Ewòd pran nouvèl la, sa te boulvèse tèt li. Sa te boulvèse tout moun lavil Jerizalèm yo tou.

2:4 Ewòd reyini tout chèf prèt yo ansanm ak direktè lalwa yo ki t’ap dirije pèp jwif la. Li mande yo: Ki kote Kris la gen pou l’ fèt?

2:5 Yo reponn li: Se lavil Betleyèm nan peyi Jide li gen pou l’ fèt. Paske, men sa pwofèt la te ekri:

2:6 Ou menm, Betleyèm, ki bati sou tè Jida a, pawòl sèten: se pa ou ki pi piti nan tout lavil peyi Jida yo. Paske, gen yon chèf ki gen pou soti lakay ou. Se li menm ki va kondi moun Izrayèl yo, pèp mwen an.

2:7 Se konsa, Ewòd fè nèg save yo vin jwenn li an kachèt. Li mande yo kilè egzakteman zetwal la te parèt.

2:8 Apre sa, li voye yo ale Betleyèm. Li di yo: Ale non! Chache konnen tout bagay sou ti pitit la. Lè n’a jwenn li, fè m’ konnen pou m’ sa kapab al adore l’, mwen menm tou.

2:9 Apre wa a te fin di yo sa, nèg save yo pati. Lè sa a, zetwal yo te wè nan peyi solèy leve a parèt devan yo ankò. Li t’ap mache devan yo. Zetwal la kontinye konsa jouk li rive sou tèt kay kote ti pitit la te ye a. Epi l’ rete.

2:10 Lè yo te wè zetwal la, yo pa t’ manke kontan.

2:11 Yo antre nan kay la, yo wè ti pitit la ansanm ak Mari, manman li. Yo mete ajenou devan l’, yo adore l’. Apre sa, yo louvri sak yo, yo ba li anpil kado: te gen lò, lansan ak lami.

.     .     .

Jamiekan Patwa (Jamaican Patois) New Testament, 2012:  Matyu 2:1-11

2 Jiizas did baan iina Betliyem, wan toun iina Judiya. Dem taim de, a Erad did a king iina Judiya. Nou, iina dem siem taim de, som waiz man fram di Iis said did kom a Jeruusilem an a aks, 2 “We di pikni de we baan di ada die, we fi kom ton king fi di Juu piipl dem? Wi si im staar iina di Iis, we shuo se im baan, an wi kom fi shuo im nof rispek.” 3 Nou wen King Erad ier dis ya, dis bada bada im ed, an it bada uol iip a piipl iina Je- ruusilem tu. 4 Erad kaal evribadi tugeda iina wan miitn — aal a di ed priis an di man dem we tiich Muoziz Laa — an im aks dem a wich paat di Krais — di king we Gad pramis, fi baan. 5 Dem ansa se, “Iina Betliyem, kaaz a dat di prafit did rait dong: 6 ‘An yu Betliyem we iina Judiya, wen yu luk pan aal di ada toun dem we a liid, yu no wot no les dan dem — yu op de mongks di tap-a-tap toun dem; kaaz a fram outa yu wan liida a-go kom we a-go protek an liid mi piipl dem we iina Izrel.’ ” 7 Den Erad sen kaal di waiz man dem fi kom kom chek im anda di kwaiyat, an fain out fram dem a wa taim dem did si di staar. 8 Im sen dem go a Betliyem an se, “Gwaan go luk fi di pikni. Luk gud gud, an wen unu fain im, kom tel mi, so mi kyan go shuo im nof rispek tu.” 9 Afta dem don lisn di king, dem lef go we. Az dem a go bout dem bizniz so, no di sed staar we dem did si iina di Iis said kom bak agen! It galang infronta dem til it riich wich paat di pikni did de, an a uova de-so it tap. 10 Wen dem did si di staar agen dem glad-bag bos! 11 Dem kom iina di ous an si di pikni wid im mada, Mieri, an dem go dong pan dem nii an priez im. Dem tek out di prezent we dem did bring, an gi di pikni — guol, frang- kinsens an mor.

.     .     .     .     .


El villancico jamaicano más popular: “Hijo-muchacho de María” por Jester Joseph Hairston / The most popular Christmas carol associated with Jamaica: “Mary’s Boy Child” by Jester Joseph Hairston

Peace and Love by Jamaican painter Osmond Watson_1969_Paz y Amor por el pintor jamaicano Osmond Watson_1969

Peace and Love by Jamaican painter Osmond Watson_1969_Paz y Amor por el pintor jamaicano Osmond Watson_1969


.     .     .

Hijo de María muchacho”

(compositor: Jester Joseph Hairston (1901-2000) / cantado por Harry Belafonte en 1956)

.

Hace mucho tiempo en Belén
Así que la Biblia dice
Hijo de María muchacho – Jesucristo –
Nació el Día de Navidad.
.
Oye, oye – los ángeles cantan
Un nuevo Rey ha nacido hoy
Y el hombre vivirá para siempre
Para el Día de Navidad.
.
Mientras que los pastores vieron a su rebaño durante la noche
Y ver una brillante nueva estrella
Y escuchar a un coro cantar
La música parece venir de lejos.
.
Y José y su esposa María
Vamos a Belén aquella noche
Y no hay lugar para encontrar transmitidas por ella hijo
No es una habitación solo estaba a la vista.
.
Escucha, ahora escucha a los ángeles cantar
Un nuevo Rey nacido hoy
Y el hombre vivirá para siempre
Por el Día de Navidad.
.
Poco a poco, encontramos un pequeño rincón
En un establo abandonado todo
Y en un pesebre frío y oscuro
Niño de María nació.
.
Escucha, ahora escucha a los ángeles cantar
Un nuevo Rey nacido hoy
Y el hombre vivirá para siempre
Por el Día de Navidad.

.     .     .

Mary’s Boy Child”

(Jester Joseph Hairston (1901-2000), composer / as sung by Harry Belafonte in 1956)

.

Long time ago in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible say,
Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day.

Hark, now hear the angels sing, a new King born today,
And we will live for evermore because of Christmas Day.

Trumpets sound and angels sing, listen to what they say:

That we will live for evermore because of Christmas Day.

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
them see a bright new shining star,
them hear a choir sing, the music seem to come from afar.

Now Joseph and his wife, Mary, come to Bethlehem that night,
them found no place to born she Child, not a single room was in sight.

By and by them find a little nook in a stable all forlorn,
And in a manger cold and dark, Mary’s little boy was born.

Long time ago in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible say,
Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day!

.     .     .     .     .


Kumukutikutitap: Ryan Cayabyab & Jose Javier Reyes / “A-twinkle and a-glimmer”: a contemporary Filipino Christmas song

The Parol or Paritaán, is the Christmas lantern of the Philippines.  Often constructed of bamboo and paper, it is now made of many materials.  Originally candle-lit, electric lights – bulbs or LED in a garland – are used now in a variety of colours.  The Parol's design is star-shaped – meant to evoke the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men/Kings to the Christ-Child's Manger.  The Parol also symbolizes hope and goodwill / the victory of light over darkness. These three Parols were made by Kat Estacio, Caroline Mangosing and Katrina Estacio at the Kapisanan Community Centre, Toronto, Canada.

The Parol or Paritaán, is the Christmas lantern of the Philippines. Often constructed of bamboo and paper, it is now made of many materials. Originally candle-lit, electric lights – bulbs or LED in a garland – are used now in a variety of colours. The Parol’s design is star-shaped – meant to evoke the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men/Kings to the Christ-Child’s Manger. The Parol also symbolizes hope and goodwill / the victory of light over darkness. These three Parols were made by Kat Estacio, Caroline Mangosing and Katrina Estacio at the Kapisanan Community Centre, Toronto, Canada.

Jose Javier Reyes (lyrics) – Ryan Cayabyab (music)

Kumukutikutitap


.

Kumukutikutitap, bumubusibusilak
Ganyan ang indak ng mga bumbilya
Kikindat-kindat, kukurap-kurap
Pinaglalaruan ng inyong mga mata
.
Kumukutikutitap, bumubusibusilak
Ganyan ang indak ng mga bumbilya
Kikindat-kindat, kukurap-kurap
Pinaglalaruan ng inyong mga mata
.
Iba’t – ibang palamuti
Ating isabit sa puno
Buhusan ng mga kulay
Tambakan ng mga regalo
.
Tumitibok-tibok, sumisinok-sinok
Wag lang malundo sa sabitin
Pupulupot-lupot paikot ng paikot
Koronahan ng palarang bituin
.
Dagdagan mo pa ng kendi
Ribon, eskosesa’t guhitan
Habang lalong dumadami
Regalo mo’y dagdagan
.
Kumukutikutitap, bumubusibusilak
Ganyan ang kurap ng mga bituin
Tumitibok-tibok, sumisinok-sinok
Koronahan ng palarang bituin
.
Dagdagan mo pa ng kendi
Ribon, eskosesa’t guhitan
Habang lalong dumadami
Regalo mo’y dagdagan
.
Kumukutikutitap, bumubusibusilak
Ganyan ang kurap ng mga bituin
Tumitibok-tibok, sumisinok-sinok
Koronahan pa ng palarang bituin

Young members of the Ryan Cayabyab Singers_December 2013

Young members of the Ryan Cayabyab Singers_December 2013

 

Jose Javier Reyes (lyrics) – Ryan Cayabyab (music)

Kumukutikutitap

.

A-twinkle and a-glimmer
A-sparkle and a-shimmer
That’s the way the lights are a-dancing
They’re winking here and there
And blinking everywhere
Bright and sparkly colours playing with your eyes
.
A-twinkle and a-glimmer
A-sparkle and a-shimmer
That’s the way they start are a-winking
Pulsating to the beat
Hiccuping to the beat
Now crown it all with a big parol!
.
Let’s hang ‘em on that big old Christmas tree
All those different festive decorations
Pour in all the colours
Now pile it all up with gifts!
.
Pulsating to the beat
Hiccuping to the beat
Be careful that tree doesn’t topple!
Going round and round
And shiny toys abound
Crown it all with a big parol!
.
Add more candies, more goodies
Ribbons, a little drummer boy and dollies
With all the presents piled high
Bring in more gifts – don’t be shy!
.
A-twinkle and a-glimmer
A-sparkle and a-shimmer
That’s the way the stars are a-winking
Pulsating to the beat
Hiccuping to the beat
Now crown it all with a big parol!

.

A special thank-you to Roseanne in Cebu for this English translation of the Tagalog lyrics!

.

To listen to this song in its original Tagalog version with an all-male choir’s playful a-cappella interpretation, click here:  http://youtu.be/LAGKW4tmxTA

.     .     .     .     .


Wilson Alwyn Bentley: “Ice Flower” Photomicrographs

Wilson Alwyn Bentley_Snowflake circa 1905

Sabine Schiffner (born 1965, Bremen, Germany)

Cryology – or the Study of Snow”

.

they say that when
wilson a. bentley* from montana
wasn’t playing
the clarinet he would grab
his camera and go
out into the snow
to capture snowflake after snowflake
in his attentive lens
recording them before they reverted
to drops of half-frozen water
and so revealing feathers
or many-pointed stars
or branching tree-like
mosaics or sparkling
constructs with disjointed frosted arms
and columns goblets even pyramids
countless crystalline forms

.

wilson a. bentley was nicknamed
flakey by his neighbours
they laughed at him behind his back
but needed him and his clarinet
for their concerts in church
they thought it was
ridiculous for him to try and hold on
to what disappears and
his obsession
made him a bit odd
what they didn’t know
was that he not only
saw the flakes but heard them
like the notes played
on a clarinet.

.     .     .

In the original German:

Sabine Schiffner
“Kryologie”
(die lehre vom schnee)
.
von wilson a. bentley aus montana
wird berichtet er habe wenn er nicht
eben klarinette spielte die kamera
zur hand genommen und sei mit ihr
raus aus dem haus und in den schnee getreten und
habe zärtlich flock’ um flocke aufgefangen
und vor die linse komplimentiert wo er sie
dokumentierte bevor sie wieder wurden was sie vorher
waren nämlich ein tropfen halb gefrornes wasser mit
einer gänsefeder hingewischt sie stellten sich
als stern mit viel verschiednen enden dar
oder dendritengruppen mit diversen
plättchen oder als strahlenförmige
gebilde mit abgebrochnem arm
mit reif als säule als pokal und micht zuletze als pyramide
unendlich kristalline formen

wilson a. bentley heiss bei seinen
nachbarn snowflake sie
lachten hinter seinem rücken über ihn jedoch sie brauchten
ihn und seine klarinette fur die konzerte
in der kirche sie hielten
es für lächerlich das festzuhalten was
sofort wieder vergeht und dass er sich
so sehr gezwungen sah es festzuhalten
machte ihn fremd
sie wussten nicht dass er die flocken
night nur sah sondern auch hörte
wie die musik die seine klarinette
spielt

Wilson Alwyn Bentley_Snowflake

* Wilson Alwyn Bentley (February 9th, 1865 – December 23rd, 1931) was, in fact, from Jericho, Vermont, USA – not from the state of Montana. He became famous as a photographer of snowflakes.

Bentley was fascinated by snow crystals as a teenager and attempted to draw the flakes he placed under a microscope – but they were too complex to draw before they melted. And so he attached a bellows camera to a compound microscope and successfully “captured” an image of a snowflake when he was 20 years old. His procedure became to catch a crystal on a blackboard then transfer it quickly to a microscope slide. He called snowflakes “ice flowers”. The type of glass-plate photographs he made – several thousand of them – are known as “photomicrographs”.

.     .     .

Sabine Schiffner’s Kryologie (die lehre vom schnee) from her 2007 book of poems, Dschinn, is here featured in a translation from German into English © Paul Archer

Wilson Alwyn Bentley_Snowflake photomicrograph


“Ye are the Light of the World”: Winter Solstice and The Birth of the Babe / “Vosotros sois la luz del mundo”: el Solsticio de Invierno y el Nacimiento de Jesús

The sun setting in winter

.     .     .

Today, December 21st, marks the Winter Solstice, when, in Canada and elsewhere in the northern hemisphere, we experience our shortest day and our longest night. Here in Toronto, that means: sunrise at 7:48 a.m. and sunset at 4:44 p.m.  The winter solstice has been symbolically important throughout the ages…It is when there is a reversal of the ebbing presence of the sun in the sky. Concepts of the birth or re-birth of Sun Gods, or the year as re-newed, life-death-rebirth cycles, “new beginnings” – these have ancient roots in our human psyche. Consequently, it is not hard to understand why The Birth of Jesus Christ might have been “fixed” at around the same time – the metaphor of Light, and of Returning Light, is just so strong!

.

This Little Light of Mine is a popular children’s gospel song based on a spiritual that speaks of God’s perfect love. It was written by Harry Dixon Loes, a music composer and teacher, around 1920.

It is perhaps based upon two quotations from The Gospels:

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.” Luke 11:33

.     .     .

Harry Dixon Loes (1895-1965)

This Little Light of Mine”

.
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

.

Won’t let Satan blow it out,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Won’t let Satan blow it out,
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

.

Let it shine till Jesus comes,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine till Jesus comes.
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

.

Hide it under a bushel, no!
I’m gonna let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel, no!
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

.

Let it shine over the whole wide world,
I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine over the whole wide world,
I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

.     .     .

Hoy es el Solsticio de Invierno…y aquí en Toronto occure la salida del sol a las 7:48 y la puesta del sol a las 16:44. La palabra solsticio se deriva del Latín sol (‘Sol’) y sístere (‘permanecer quieto’).

El significado o interpretación de este evento – el Solsticio de Invierno – ha variado en las distintas culturas mundiales, pero la mayoría de ellas lo reconoce como un período de renovación y re-nacimiento.

Y es obvio el significado en el contexto cristiano, ¿no?

.

Vosotros sois la luz del mundo; una ciudad asentada sobre un monte no se puede esconder. Ni se enciende una luz y se pone debajo de un almud, sino sobre el candelero, y alumbra a todos los que están en casa. Así alumbre vuestra luz delante de los hombres, para que vean vuestras buenas obras, y glorifiquen a vuestro Padre que está en los cielos.”

Mateo 5: 14-16

.

Esta Pequeña Luz en Mí”

(canción góspel para niños, del año 1920, Harry Dixon Loes, compositor)

.

Hay una lucecita en mí

que dejaré brillar,

Hay una lucecita en mí

que dejaré brillar,

Hay una lucecita en mí

que dejaré brillar,

Brillará, brillará, brillará…

.

No esconderé su brillo, no,

la dejaré brillar,

No esconderé su brillo, no,

la dejaré brillar,

No esconderé su brillo, no,

la dejaré brillar,

Brillará, brillará, brillará…

.

El diablo no la robará,

la dejaré brillar,

El diablo no la robará,

la dejaré brillar,

El diablo no la robará,

la dejaré brillar,

Brillará, brillará, brillará…

.

Hasta que venga Jesús,

la dejaré brillar,

Hasta que venga Jesús,

la dejaré brillar,

Hasta que venga Jesús,

la dejaré brillar,

Brillará, brillará, brillará…

.     .     .     .     .