EXPLORING THE STARKNESS OF WINTER
I came across a video this morning that seemed distinctly Pagan in someway. It’s about a woman who is the caretaker of an old hotel each winter in New England. During that time she is the sole person on the island and she talks about how this isolation has caused her to appreciate the beauty of winter in a profound way. She talks of being inspired by the harshness of the sea, the grey horizon, and the quiet of these cold months.
The photography she takes while on the island captures these moments of winter stillness. It reminds me of one of my favorite artists, Andrew Wyeth, who also portrayed the beauty and starkness of winter.
During winter I live a life much different from the woman in this video. Living in Chicago I experience daily contrasting vignettes that showcase a distinctly midwestern winter. The smog of chimneys and the roar or the El Train make up a large part of my winter scene. And yet, I still find a beauty in this contrast. When I walk along the lake shore path I can see the monolithic skyscrapers that jut up again the shore. These great titans of human progress still seem small and fragile when up against the roaring icy waves of the lake. Even here in the city I feel myself beholden to the mercy of the winter wind. And for me part of connecting with winter means embracing these feelings of fragility and striving to uncover its inherent beauty.