Saturday, August 02, 2008

Lammas Celestial Poetry Evening

Thanks to my dear friend, Lunden, I attended the Lammas Celestial Poetry Evening at Southworth Planetarium last night. It was cosmic, to say the least. Sitting in reclining chairs in the celestial dark, illuminated by a facsimile of the night sky overhead, as well as occasional shots of the sun, moon and various astronomical events, we were treated to readings of poetry by Robert Frost, Shakespeare, Nanao Sakaki, Rabidranath Tagore and a number of local poets, by a number of local poets. There was even a song, sung in a plaintive lunary voice with accompaniment on a resonant parlor guitar.

The evening was divided into "Canto I: Earth and Sky," "Canto II, Moon and Worlds," "Canto III: Stars and Space" and "Canto IV: Cosmos." During the intermission we were treated to granola, cookies and delicious bread and butter, compliments of Big Sky Bakery. The evening wrapped up with a stunning performance/poem entitled "Micro-Macrocosm," that encouraged the listeners to follow a meditation paralleling the microcosms of the body with the macrocosms of the skies. COSMIC!

According to Wikipedia, "Lammas is a neopagan holiday, being a cross-quarter holiday between the Summer Solstice (Litha) and Fall Equinox (Mabon). It is opposite Candlemas or Imbolc, in early February. Lammas takes place with the Sun near the midpoint of Leo." "Loaf-mass" Day is also a celebration of the first wheat harvest of the year in olden times, back when we all had wheat harvests to celebrate. Apparently (also according to my friend, Wikipedia), "neopaganism" is any one of a variety of religious movements influenced by pre-Christian "pagan" religions. I think, at this moment in history, that being a neopagan, or at least celebrating a neopagan holiday, is not a bad thing by any means.

During the intermission my friend and I got to explore other cool things at the planetarium, including a holographic "ghost" whose head will turn to follow your movements, a portrait of the Mrs. Southworth who inspired the planetarium in memory of her husband (she looks like she's wearing a copper hat ), a machine that will give you a measurement of your weight on other planets and a bunch of cool old maps.

Remember: "lunatic," or "lunatik" in Middle English or "lunatique" in Old French, comes from the Latin lūnāticus, meaning moonstruck.