Today is Samhain, the Druidic equivalent of New Years Day. It’s not an equinox or solstice, but rather one of the “quarter days,” along with Beltane (May 1, the big spring fest) and Imbloc and Lughnasa, celebrated February 1 and August 1, to mark the end of winter and summer, respectively. (I know a lot about the pagan calendar for a Lutheran.)

In other news, I think a dog would be even better than an imaginary boyfriend. I found one online! (Don’t laugh–I found the last real boyfriend onlne. And many nice pairs of shoes.) This is Joe. Help me convince my roommate Joe is necessary for my happiness.

Maybe inspired by old boyfriends both imaginary and real, I’ve been listening to the Schubert song cycle “Winterreise” (Winter’s Journey) again. There’s an incredibe, poignant, creepy song at the end called “Die Nebensonnen,” or The False Suns. (Which I hear is a real phenomenen called parhelion: on very cloudy, snowy days, you see the clouds refracting many suns.) Here are the lyrics:

I saw three suns in the sky;
I gazed at them long and intently.
And they, too, stood there so fixedly
As if unwilling to leave me.
Alas, you are not my suns!
Gaze into other people’s faces!
Yes, not long ago I too had three suns;
Now the two best have set.
If only the third would follow,
I should feel happier in the dark.

I don’t think German translates very well, but it’s exquisite with the music, trust me. The liner notes for the recording I have are delightful: “In the stature of this music, the traveller seems at one with the great mystics like St. John of the Cross, who wrote of ‘The Dark Night of The Soul.’ Never has the composer used his beloved key signature of A major and its inevitable contrast with A minor to more enobling effect.”