Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ecstasy Of Invention: Top Of Mind

Our relationships with winter are as varied as our relationships with each other. Some experiences are a quick fling, a mad dash, soon to be forgotten. Others etch themselves into our psyche forever. As adults, we tend to revisit what we have loved most and if we manage to arrive there again, we find comfort in the repetition.

In thinking about these deeper connections, I realize water was the original shield that protected us from the outside world. Perhaps we all unconsciously seek this refuge again and combined with the primal need to be sheltered, create a feeling of comfort we can’t quite explain when we sit near, look at or touch the water – even in its crystal form. We can almost smell it, taste it, love being near it, write about it, take photos of it, and cast our gaze into its collective form. 

These images can be profoundly universal because as viewers, we automatically relive our own winter stories by experiencing the joy of perspective. Winter can be interpreted in many ways, but it takes special skill to convey a universal feeling within an image. We all have memories like this, somewhere in our consciousness. Water is the thread that connects our adventures of winter with spring and summer. Viewing these images makes one journey wide-eyed through the constantly shifting snow.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Art Of Winter: Mischievous, Intelligent, Industrious

Snow beneath our feet at our winter home on the East Coast. Grey outside, lava red inside.
 Live well. Laugh often. Love much.

Eyes of an Eagle

Eyes of an eagle, strong enough to stare
Into the sun’s heart, wings on the rise
Mounting into the sky, no longer caring about height
We see the rising sun
A new sun always, ascends once more
Plumage with beams of gold
The glory lingers; glory is like day
Beautiful heaven, renewed continually
By light, by love, by wind and snow
The waters where we swim and boat in summer
Are seized like a rock in winter
That winter’s grip transfigures all that went before

Give mortals keener sight
So in our marveling
My golden child sees the sun’s return
Rising from arctic night
Out in nature during the winter months
Of gold made richer by those months of dark
So squirrels spring to the tree for a spark
Touch the treetops as we fly
The valley with grey mist accents winter below
Where no boats lie anchored in frozen ice
All venture in the vice
Of total stillness held,
A sea whose voice the Sungod must restore in spring

Before night’s veils, patterned by myth were drawn
From navigators’ eyes
What bridles held the dawn
What birds of omen crossed the unknown sea?
Who now can see it rise into the clouds?
The sun, as first it rose above the shore?
Only the first and last make vision true
Our lives are richer for the breath we draw
We see our children or as eagles see
Rhythm of life bring visions of art
An inner heaven opens for view from below and above

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Stronger Is Better: Viva Old Montreal For Nuit Blanche


Only in Old Montreal can you dance to pounding techno music on a frozen waterfront surrounded by 17th century buildings. One of the world’s largest winter festivals, Montreal en Lumiere – “Montreal in Lights” – seems to have no purpose other than luring people with amazing food and A-list performances. The city is rooted in the spiritual with church pews found in a variety of settings. God was clearly on the mind of early settlers and is still in favor today.

As you walk around Old Montreal – the 17th century neighborhood of early Canada still retains the character of early habitants. Now this neighborhood is sizzling hot again, and rue St-Paul has become a happening fashion strip. High-end boutiques offer striking designs for all fashionistas. And before you faint over prices remember the favorable exchange rate. If you are gastric inclined, the lure of Old Montreal is also because it's one of the fastest-moving restaurant cities in the world. Forget trendy, nothing is more soul-warming on a cold night than a delicious meal from one of its legendary local spots. After 90 years of continuous refinement, most of the restaurants along the waterfront offer something new to wow your senses and invigorate your taste buds.

Old Montreal is one of the most romantic cities in the world. With its cobblestone streets and walled fortress buildings, this place resembles the quaint 17th century European village. It’s lovely to visit any time of year, but the romance is ratcheted up in the winter. Old Montreal gives you a good reason to cuddle for warmth – it’s actually not crazy to head to Montreal when the temperature drops.