Friday, December 20, 2013

Winter Solstice

Tomorrow is the shortest day. Can you feel it? I do. It's in the dark skies when I wake, and the shadows cast on the countertops when I'm cleaning up lunch. It's in the wool blanket I've brought to bed, the flannel jammies I snuggle into at night. It's in the slow, quiet evenings spent indoors in my human-made burrow.

Tonight, I went out to look for it, to feel it: the deep melancholy of winter, the romantic muting of colour from landscape and spirit. The dark. The literal and the metaphoric.

It hasn't been a night for pictures, so this post will go without. My wintery soul is overcome with poetry, lyric, imagined brushstrokes and melody that I felt it would do a disservice to the artistry of the longest night to try and take a picture. That would be besides the point. Tonight, I am giving in and letting night wash over me.

I went to the river with Skylar for a walk. We're in the middle of a snowstorm, but it isn't forbiddingly cold, so we shook off snowflakes as they accumulated on our brows and continued. I looked out to the water, black and deep. Menacing, dangerous. It really does't take much creativity to imagine it is a portal to a deep, dark world where souls may slip and never return. 

I listened to Van Morrison songs, the slow ones. I watched the fast-blowing snow cover my tracks almost as soon as I made them. I imagined I could walk right off the painting I was in, leaving but a few clues. I felt dramatic and then muted, pacing along the shore.

The water is darkest, the skies are gray and the landscape is at its most subdued as we walk through the longest night and the shortest day of the year. The ambience is quiet, but the artistry is let in. Room is made for big thoughts and ideas to splash in the empty spaces. The mystique and beauty of winter can be found in the blowing snow across a quiet river, but the artist knows it is in the silent shadows that sound and light feel most compelled to erupt.

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