Friday, January 17, 2014

We Are Wild

I'm big on costuming and masks. I attend a variety of events that involve costuming. The above video is an event I participated in recently---a Perchtenlauf. This is a tradition that originated in Alpine countries, such as Austria, where people dress up in various monster costumes to "drive off the dark". Its Winter Solstice related---having just finished up with the longest nights of the year, we in the northern hemisphere are gradually returning to longer days. The Perchtenlauf harkens back to the times when winters were particularly harsh for people---when the edge between surviving them, or not, was very thin. The tradition is hundreds, if not thousands, of years old. Only the Inquisition managed to put a dent in it, and even then, remote villages in the high mountains that rarely saw inquisitors carried on with the tradition.

Some people find it scary---some find it funny. Most of the people who saw our procession were probably thinking "what the heck???". I enjoyed bringing a bit of street theater to some unsuspecting people--and also participating in an event with roots deep in the past.

The guy that put together the video also made a silly version :).

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Walk on the Beach

I am fortunate to live close to both the ocean and the mountains. Last week I chose the ocean, and despite the cold temperature, I got some exceedingly relaxing quality time down on the beach. Here are some photos from the day:

How about that sunset!!!

I also spent some time near this little brook:


I find the sound of rushing water so soothing. Perfect counterpoint to the former frenzy of the holidays :)