Hello Esteemed Readers,
On the first Saturday in December, I sent out this journal's second homage post titled, “Grandmother Judith.” Normally I wouldn’t include additional communications for subscribers in my monthly journal outreach. But a New Year is on its way! In celebration, I wanted to let all of you know that in response to subscriber inquiries, the Art Nun Journal now has a new feature that simplifies the navigation of the site so you can access the sequential introductory posts much easier! Just go to the “Topics” tab on the navigation bar at the top of each page, and follow the prompts.
And since Wednesday, December 21 is the Solstice, the longest night of the year, I'm offering some thoughts, imagery, and music to honor the earth’s half-year, winter shift as it follows the cycle of light back again to Spring. My photo of a Tieton Apple Tree in Winter (feature image above) visually suggests this coming transition.
To accompany the photo, I’m including an excerpt from a collection of musical jewels written for cello and piano in 1926 by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, titled Six Studies in English Folksong. Vaughan Williams spent many years collecting traditional English folksongs and hymns that he later incorporated into his more formal musical compositions. For the Six Studies, he specifically wrote that his aim in setting the songs was for them to be “treated with love.” He is one of the only composers I know of who accomplished this musical “translation” with true reverence and respect for the invisible emotional tone of the original sources. When I listen to these pieces, so filled with feelings of love for the earth and an awareness of our limited on it, I always hear the music and see my photo together as a combined thought. I start to understand why an unknown author once described the (often hidden) British “character” as, “The practical and mystical English.”
With grateful acknowledgement of the longest night of the year and its opening to the future,
Sandra Dean, Visual Artist
Tieton, Washington USA