Endings and Beginnings

The past few months have brought many changes into my life, some satisfying, some sad, and some hopeful. I’ve been locked in my studio for weeks, completing a cello concerto, and only coming out on occasion to wrap up the school semester. The concerto is complete, the cellist loves the music and now I only need to finish the orchestration and score work. More about Watershed in future posts.

MissPhylMy mother-in-law Phyllis passed away peacefully at the end of October, at home among her family. We honored her with a celebration of her life and held a burial ceremony for both her and my husband’s father during Thanksgiving week. It was both sad and joyful, and a good friend played taps beautifully at the cemetery.

 

 

 

The garden is quiet now, sleeping for the winter, all soft browns and grays.decGarden

My attention has turned indoors for the holidays, a season where we bring the outdoors in and celebrate the bounty of the season with food and gifts. I’m decorating the house this weekend and preparing to feed twenty people on Christmas Day, a gathering of family from near and far. As I took photos of the “woodland” tree in our family room, I thought of the recurring themes of food and bounty and gifting that is so prevalent in many cultures as the seasons turn at the winter solstice and return the light to the northern hemisphere. By whatever name you call him, whether St. Nick, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, or Kris Kringle, he endures as an archetypal figure of bounty, largess, and generosity. santa

So often, he is portrayed with fruit, berries, and green leaves, the embodiment of growth and life. santa2

Our family room looks into the woods and the Christmas tree there is decorated with a woodland theme, of birds, creatures, even a glass rose – a stylized reminder of the garden and the woods that surround us all year round. (Click on any photo to view full size images)

In 2011, we made a musical Christmas card for friends and family. When our world seems so filled with strife and division, it seems fitting to return to that video for a message of love and family, as well as a photo of my in-laws at 1:55.  

Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, may it be a celebration of love, forgiveness, compassion and hope. As this year comes to an end and the new one begins, I wish every good thing for you and yours.

(All photos ©2017 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved)

Father Christmas: A Musical Christmas Card

We have long considered creating an online musical Christmas card instead of sending paper cards and Christmas letters; this is the year that it happens.  “Father Christmas” was composed from a dream that my husband had of his father.  Bill handed me the text and music for the chorus, I completed the text and music for the verses and bridge and scored it for keyboards and percussion.  Our friend Judy joined us to record it for the “Christmas at Duquesne, Vol. 2” CD.  Now we would like to share the video version with our friends and families as our Christmas greeting this year.  May the blessings of love and peace be with you throughout the coming year. Enjoy!

Father Christmas Lyrics
©2008 Lynn & Bill Purse, All rights reserved

Father Christmas, Father Time
Mother Earth in ancient rhyme
Help the angels sing your name
I’ll see you Father, once again

Christmas seen through childish eyes
Glitter gold and treasures prized,
and yet around each childish heart
the warmth of love and family start

A world of sorrow, a world of pain,
a world in which there seems no gain.
But nonetheless, remember this,
a world was won by a child of grace

Looking back on memories, I see the joy of family
A father’s love, a mother’s joy for all their children, girl and boy

Fathers, mothers, listen now
Sisters, brothers, make this vow
to love each other on this earth
and share the bonds of love and mirth

Lynn Emberg Purse, vocals and keyboards; Bill Purse, vocals and percussion, sound engineer and producer; Judith Bowman, keyboards. A special thanks to my niece and great niece Jessica and Olivia and to my mother and my husband for allowing me to film them, and to Michael for providing the red rose.

Soundtrack on the “Christmas at Duquesne, Vol. 2” CD available at the Duquesne University’s Mary Pappert School of Music, 412-396-6080.  All proceeds go towards scholarships for Duquesne University music students.

Another Christmas music post that you may enjoy – Keeping Christmas

Text and media of “Father Christmas: A Musical Christmas Card” ©2011 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved