about Sublime MC Cool J

Sublime MC Cool J

Sublime MC Cool J

Frost is a natural phenomenon that Canadians are quite familiar with. Air saturated with water vapour freezes into intricate patterns on contact with frigid surfaces. The scientific term for this is sublimation. The days of waking up in the morning to windows covered in Jack Frost’s ice paintings happen less and less owing to better insulation in modern windows.

I have fond memories of sharing a room with my big sister, and opening my eyes in the morning to contemplate frost patterns on the windows.

This window frame, with some wonderful coloured glass, came from my family homestead, framing the artwork in both time and space. The sight of the frosted windows, perhaps unreasonably, gives me a warm feeling of being held by my family.

In very little time we’ve moved from a world of Laura Ingles Wilder to the land of the Jetsons. But that is as it should be. I am more than happy to live where I do and when I do, somewhere between what’s old and what’s new.

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about Ice Queen

This painting is about the magic of hoarfrost. Some very cold winter mornings you get up to find an already wintry world has become completely blanketed with a powdery white layer. The frost shimmers and shines as the sun dances on the crystalline deposits coating the trees and bushes. For a while we live in a dazzling crystal world.

In the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the Snow Queen two best friends, Kay and Gerda are separated when a shard from a magical mirror falls to earth and lodges in Kay’s heart. He sees everything as bad and ugly, and follows the evil snow queen to her frozen North Pole castle, forgetting about his family and his friend. But Gerda overcomes many ordeals to find him and when she does, her tears melt the mirror shard from his heart. They are reunited and he experiences beauty and love once again.

My snow/ice queen is not so evil, and the winter she brings is not ugly and hateful. Her frozen breath brings the clean white magic of hoarfrost suddenly materializing to coat every available surface with a beautiful powdery white icing sugar blanket. It’s about the beauty in the frozen world that assaults your senses and takes your breath away. “Ice Queen” suggests the quiet stillness in the sudden appearance of hoarfrost on the trees.

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about Wolf Moon

The moon is closer to the earth in January than in other months, so it appears larger. Some first nations peoples called this moon the “Wolf Moon”.

For millennia, humans scheduled hunting, planting, and harvesting by moon cycles. Ancient cultures the world over gave full moons names based on the behaviour of plants, animals, or weather during that month.

Much lore surrounds a full moon, from witches and werewolves to weather prediction. But, canine experts have found no connection between the phases of the moon and wolf howls. Full moon or not, wolves howl at night because they’re nocturnal. And they point their faces up to allow the sound to carry farther. Howling signals location or a warning to outside wolves. But it’s fun to speculate.

And sometimes, wolves howl just for the fun of it.

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about HooDoo Giant

Hoodoos are natural geological formations. A column of soft eroding rock is capped by less easily eroded stone. They’re found in earth’s badlands, including Drumheller, AB, where my husband grew up.

The Europeans named them Hoodoos, which refers to a form of folk magic. Hoodoo is similar to Voodoo, but is Christian. The goal of hoodoo is to access the supernatural to improve life. In some Cree and Blackfoot legends these formations were petrified giants who came alive at night to throw rocks at intruders and protect the valley.

Personal note: On my first trip to Drumheller to meet my husband’s family we drove past these hoo doos. I had no forewarning that they even existed. “Wow!” say I in amazement, “Look at that!!” My husband with his eyes on the road, and immunity bred of familiarity, replies, “ I know! They’ve built a new highway!”

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Got Your Back

In any good relationship there is an element of protecting each other from harm in whatever form it takes. These zebras appear to do so literally.

The black and white stripes of the zebras are in stark contrast to a non-traditional multi-coloured rainbow.

Rainbows have meaning in many cultures. To name only a few:

In Genesis God purged the earth of evil by flooding the earth, sparing only what came with Noah on the ark. He sent a rainbow as a sign that He would never flood the earth again.

Greco-Roman and Norse mythologies view rainbows as a bridge between Heaven and Earth.

In Chinese mythology, the rainbow was a slit in the sky sealed using stones of five different colours.

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about Ragin’ Odin

Here the chief god of Norse mythology, Odin, thunders across his heavenly home of Asgard, on his eight legged steed, Sleipnir. Odin’s constant wolf companions race across the golden clouds beside him. The spear that never misses, Gungir, is clutched in his raised fist. The ravens, Huginn, thought, and Muginn, memory, circle overhead reporting information gathered from their daily flights all over the world.

Odin is the god of war, but also the god of wisdom, magic, poetry and prophecy. He sacrificed his eye in exchange for the wisdom of ages. J.R.R. Tolkein’s wizard character, Gandalf, was patterned after Odin.

The heavenly clouds are golden from their proximity to one of Odin’s three residences, Valhalla, the golden hall of the fallen. Strong female warriors called Valkyrie gather heroic warriors who fall in battle. The warriors reside in Valhalla preparing for the final doomsday battle led by Odin. The great hall has 540 golden gates allowing 800 warriors to exit at once for the wild hunts and for the final great battle. The doomsday battle will result in the deaths of Odin, one of his many sons, Thor, and his brother, Loki. The world will then be submerged in water, resurface, and be repopulated by two human survivors.

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about Barbegazi’s Glacial Playground

Barbegazi are beings from Swiss mythology that look somewhere between gnomes and Abominable Snowmen. They live in tunnels in the alps between Switzerland and France. They love to frolic in deep snow in the coldest winter months, but sleep away the warmer months.

Their massive feet are their most notable feature, which they use like snowshoes or skis. They love to surf avalanches and often start them for the fun of it. Though they are known caretakers of the mountains, humans rarely see them since they can dig themselves into and out of massive piles of snow in seconds to hide or play.

Despite their reluctance to be seen, they do communicate with St. Bernards, leading the dogs to rescue climbers trapped in the freezing snow.

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