Friday, January 01, 2010

Snow North Fife 2010

Snow, beautiful to look at, visually changing landscapes into Bruegelesque type scenes. The world becomes quiet, little movement. It's unusual to have snowfall so early in the year here in north fife if at all. The painting and posts below point to my meaning.

Hunters in the Snow, a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. There are records that he was born in Breda, Netherlands, but it is uncertain whether the Dutch town of Breda or the Belgian town of Bree, called Breda in Latin, is meant. He was an apprentice of Pieter Coecke van Aelst, whose daughter Mayken he later married. He spent some time in France and Italy, and then went to Antwerp, where in 1551 he was accepted as a master in the painter's guild. He traveled to Italy soon after, and then returned to Antwerp before settling in Brussels permanently 10 years later. He received the nickname 'Peasant Bruegel' or 'Bruegel the Peasant' for his alleged practice of dressing up like a peasant in order to mingle at weddings and other celebrations, thereby gaining inspiration and authentic details for his genre paintings. He died in Brussels on 9 September 1569 and was buried in the Kapellekerk. He was the father of Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder. Both became painters, but as they were very young children when their father died, it is believed neither received any training from him. According to Carel van Mander, it is likely that they were instructed by their grandmother Mayken Verhulst van Aelst, who was also an artist.

Icicles, There is snow, a slight thaw from ambient house heat which then turns into ice.

Being immobile forces one into a kind of retreat, unable to travel and being without daily distractions, though hard, can be of great benefit, chance to examine oneself in a way described in the book below.

A beautiful book, and worthy of the mountains he is among What began as a practical search for the rare snow leopard, revered Buddhist emblem, developed into a quest for the meaning of Being. An enjoyable combination of mountaineering and mysticism . Observer: It's a tale of an inner struggle for calm, and would be an inspiring and sustaining desert island companion As much the chronicle of an inner journey as it is the learned recording of an unfamiliar territory...a timeless account. Independent: An evocative account of a remote and timeless place and its people. Sunday Times: A magical book: a kind of lunar paradigm and map of the sacred.

This book is a story of two journeys of exploration. On one hand it is an account of an expedition by the world famous field biologist Georges Schaller to remote North Western Nepal in search of the fabled Snow Leopard.
The second journey is Matthiessen's personal journey of spiritual discovery amongst the Himalayan gompas of both Buddhism and the ancient Bon religion.
Combining a remarkable eye for detail in the flora and fauna of the journey with a deeply moving account of his personal spiritual discoveries, this book is a "must read" for anyone with even the slightest interest in what lies beyond the mundane day to day world.
It is also a detailed account of a world which was at the time of the expedition untouched by Western technology or values. A world which largely no longer exists.The Snow Leopard

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