The Time Between

Liminal: “of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition” Merriam Webster.com

xmastrees_vertWPThe week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day has always been a special time for me. The everyday world seems to pause and recede, leaving time for inner reflection, time to consider the past year and the future to come.The Norwegians have a name for this season – Romjul. According to My Little Norway “the time from Boxing Day [day after Christmas] until New Years Eve is called Romjul (Christmas Space) which is the ‘space’ between Christmas and New Year’s.” Traditionally, this time is spent with family and out of doors.

XmasMoonriseWPI’ve often thought about liminal space (The Space Between) but until now, I hadn’t considered the idea of liminal time. Liminality, as the moment “betwixt and between” is the time for transitioning from one state to another, and that is exactly what this week serves. After the intense activity of the end-of-semester deadlines and the rush to prepare for Christmas, nothing is more welcome to me than to stay quietly at home for a week, reading books, meandering through the garden in any weather, and looking over photos from the year. Angel and I even spent several balmy nights entranced by the rising of the Christmas moon, its brilliant light a reminder of longer days to come..

New Year’s Eve is considered to be an important liminal time – the threshold between one year and the next. The many traditions associated with the holiday – midnight fireworks, kisses, and toasts, are ancient and worldwide practices associated with our need to pass safely from one state to another. And did you know that the oldest record of a New Year’s resolution is over 4000 years old from ancient Babylonia?

seedsWPAs I reflect on the year past and prepare for the year to come, the garden is on my mind. I hope to have my garden open to visitors this summer and have been busy preparing while the weather remains mild. The first packet of seeds came this week, along with a book on propagation techniques. More seeds are on their way, the light table in the basement is clean and ready, and visions of the coming garden season creep into my dreams.

Here is a slideshow of this past year’s highlights of the garden, from the snows of February to the autumn colors of November. Enjoy! (all images ©2015 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved)

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All blessings to you and yours in the new year!

Fast away the old year passes,
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses!
~Deck the Halls

At the speed of light

The speed of light is the same for all observers, no matter what their relative speeds.  Einstein

Tonight the air is crisp and cold and the sky is bright with winter stars and a growing half moon. Cassiopeia and the Big Dipper float over the roof of the house and Orion the Hunter is rising in the southern sky.

image of moon and garden

The “more than half” moon is bright enough to cast shadows across the dark tangle of the garden and thread between the almost leafless trees. The four seasons seem an inadequate description for the ongoing flow of changes that I notice in the garden; it morphs from moment to moment each time I step outside. As I set up my camera for a long exposure, I think of a card that a friend sent describing the thirteen moons of the native American tribes. What is this moon tonight? Harvest is over and winter will arrive soon; perhaps this is a liminal moon, a threshold between the season that has ended and the one yet to arrive.

The lyrics and melody to “Light” (See blog post Fire and Light) run through my head and keep me out in the cold night gazing up at the sky. “Gathered on the waters, reflected by the moon, even once removed, its power streams into the night. Light . . .” The piece is being premiered in ten days and I am preparing the visual media that is part of the performance. Solar flares, clouds across the moon and the water, light sifting through trees and clouds – the images and the music are inextricably intertwined and indeed, this piece was born from nights spent just like this, in the quiet of the garden filled with light.

Here is a sneak preview of part of the piece, with a MIDI soundtrack sans sung lyrics.  The lyrics to the clip shown above:

Light, Light, Light. . .
Gathered on the waters,
reflected by the moon.
Even once removed, its power
streams into the night,
Light,  Light, Light . . .

Words and music by Lynn Emberg Purse, ©2011, All Rights Reserved
Text and images/media of “At the Speed of Light” ©2011 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved