Art, Poetry, Music, and Nature for the New Year
Friday, January 1 2021
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Wassily Kandinsky, Winter Landscape, 1909: Oil on Cardboard (St. Petersburg, Hermitage Museum)
As the trauma of 2020 fades into the background, and 2021 emerges, something about Kandinsky’s Winter Landscape carries hope. The rich pinks, greens, yellows, and blues stand strong and hopeful against the black spines of tree trunks standing sentinel over a winter landscape. Kandinsky uses no true white to depict the snow, but instead scatters color like New Year’s Eve confetti into the sunset. With the grove of dark trees in the top left corner, it does not ignore the possibility of sorrow, tragedy, or grief, but it somehow still uplifts, a sunset offering beauty as night descends. I would feel comforted walking the path Kandinsky sets before us in Winter Landscape.
God of this new year, may the path we walk in 2021 be comfort and hope.