Friday, July 27, 2012

You know, you need your rest

Today is one of those days.  There are...let's call them celebrations, all loosely around a general idea, but don't seem to have all that much to do with each other.  It is kind of like finding the handle of an old jug in one old field & the spout of the same jug in another one, miles away (does this ever happen?  who would know?).

I will begin with the oldest I could find:  today is the day of the seven sleepers.  In early christian times, seven young men were persecuted into leaving their city lives behind because they would not give up christianity & went to live in a cave.  After what I am guessing really would have been an exhausting few days, they all fell asleep (on the other hand I am personally acquainted with five 3 month old kittens that have more sense than this; one of them is always awake to alert the others).  The pagan ruler saw his opportunity & sealed them in.  They slept & slept & slept until 100, 200, 300 years later when the cave was opened by a farmer who knew nothing of the sleepers inside (& yet knew there was a cave-he had plans to use it for livestock).  The farmer found the seven men, still young, still in their own native dress  years out of date just waking up. There is a more official church version of this story in which the boys are indeed killed, tossed into the cave & do not rise from the dead (it would be confusing).  The boys in this version are martyrs:  Maximian, Malchus, Martinian, Dionysius, John, Serapion, and Constantine.  If you are of a mind, you can travel to the site & hear the story from the locals. People seem to like stories about long term sleepers.  Rip van Winkle comes to mind.  So does King Arthur.  I can think of another legendary person who has been asleep for 2012 years, give or take 32, but is expected by many to rise again.

So that's one sleeping story for today, but there is another.  In Finland it is National Sleepy Head Day.  Apparently, the last person still abed when the rest of the house is awake gets tossed into a body of water or at the least has water poured over them.  The medieval town of Naantili chooses a local celebrity to publicly dunk.  Every mayor has been tossed into water, as well as 100s of others.  & the practice has spread to the US, the way these things do, at least as far as Denver.

So. Oversleeping would be the overall theme for today.  I myself plan to celebrate with what I am guessing is probably traditional nap.  & then maybe going to bed early tonight.

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