Year: 2018

Sunshine Blogger Award

Sorry this should have been posted on yesterday but I’m so into Holiday spirit right now. Thanks to henablogforpaws for the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination. It’s an honor. The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award for bloggers who inspire and spread positivity and joy. For me it means my hard work has been noticed. So thanks so much henablogforpaws. Check Hena’s amazing blogs here: https://henablogforpaws.wordpress.com/. Hena’s Blog For Paws is all about everything you need to know before having a furry friend in your family. Rules: 1. Thank the person who nominated you, and provide a link back to their blogging site. 2. Answer the questions. 3. Nominate 11 other bloggers; and ask them 11 new questions. 4. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on 1 of their blog posts. 5. List the rules, and display the Sunshine Bloggers Award logo on your site or on your post. Questions from Hena: 1. If not a blogger then you would have been? Ans. I actually do make music. 2. How to stop violence against women? Ans. Violence …

The Georgian Christmas

A brief idea of Christmas in Georgian period (1714 – 1830) can be found in the novels of Jane Austin. In Pride and Prejudice Lizzie writes, “Mr. Darcy sends you all the love in the world that he can spare from me. You are all to come to Pemberley at Christmas.” or Caroline Bingley writes to Jane, “I sincerely hope your Christmas in Hertfordshire may abound in the gaieties which that season generally brings”. In Sense And Sensibility Sir John describes John Willoughby by saying “last Christmas at a little hop at the park, he danced from eight o’clock till four, without once sitting down.” In Mansfield Park there’s a holiday ball held at Christmas which Sir Thomas gives for Fanny and William. In Emma, Emma looks forward to Christmas because her sister’s family will visit for a week. In Persuasion, Austen paints a charming Christmas scene; “On one side was a table occupied by some chattering girls, cutting up silk and gold paper; and on the other were tressels and trays, bending under the …

The Moonlight: John Atkinson Grimshaw

The “remarkable and imaginative painter” of Victorian Era who is best known for his somber moonlight upon urban landscapes and dockyards through leafless trees or cotton clouds expounded with pallid and augmented silhouettes, light and wet city streets. Born in Park Street, Leeds on 6 September 1836 to Mary and David Grimshaw, John Atkinson Grimshaw began his working life as a clerk for the Great Northern Railway. It was during the time as a clerk he begun to explore his love for painting. In 1861, at the age of 24, to the dismay of his parents, he abandoned his job to endorse all his time to become a painter. In 1862, only a year later after he had left his job, Grimshaw had his first exhibition under the patronage of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, which was mostly paintings of birds, fruit and blossom focused on still life and nature. By 1870, Grimashaw became successful enough to move to Knostrop Hall and rented another house in Scarborough, which he called ‘The Castle by the Sea’ …

Galveston

What would happen if a superhero movie had to deal with the uncompromising ethos of life? You would probably watch your favorite superhero being shot and killed from behind while dauntlessly fighting the other antagonists in the movie. It’s an indomitable bravery that would not necessarily have to be paid off. And there would be one simple answer to that: the evil has its fair share. That reminds me of movies where your favorite characters encounter the ferine denouement, where the evil isn’t necessarily punished in the end and most importantly, where audiences’ feels remain unjust… Are there many? I guess not. If movies were to deal with such harsh and keen reality then all hope towards equity and good would vanquish. But for those, who seek pessimism and realism to be the key element of art; Galveston is definitely the movie. Just a little slow, like a Monday noon in the sickbed that can’t be outrun.

A Brief History of Christmas Markets

It’s the time of the year in all across the Northern Europe, especially in Germany. The loveliness of choir singers engulfing the night with Christmas carols, the sound of children laughter and the good old aroma of thuringian sausages, gingerbread, gebrannte mandeln and many more. It’s the Christmas Market, also known as Christkindlmarkt, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Christkindlimarkt, and Weihnachtsmarkt, indicating the beginning of Advent. For centuries, Christmas Markets have been a part of many people’s lives from all across the Northern Europe and brought a touch of happiness, joy, light and color to the winter nights. But where did it all start? The forerunner of Christmas Market went back to Vienna’s December Market in the middle ages in 1298 where the citizens were granted permission by Duke Albrecht I to hold a market for 14 days. Even though it was not associated with Christmas, it is believed to be the first market during Advent to impel the idea of Christmas Market in later years. However, Germany holds the first evidence of markets that were associated more …

A Brief History of Christmas Lights

On his way back to home from a sermon on one winter evening, the 16th century German professor of theology and the seminal figure in protestant reformer, Martin Luther was awed by the elegance of stars shining amidst the evergreen trees. Fascinated by the spectacle he erected a tree in his own house and adorned it with lighted candles. It is believed that Martin Luther was the first person who added candles to an evergreen. However, the ritual of using the evergreens during winter festivals predates Christianity. Pagans used evergreen fir branches to illustrate life in the dead of winter as it would make them think of the spring to come. However, the tradition of illuminating the Christmas tree with candles approximately began in late 17th century by Germans. Even though Martin Luther had lit the first tree a century earlier, the first documented reference of lighting the Christmas tree dated in 17th century. In 18th century, the upper class homes in German would decorate their trees with candles which at that time was a …

False Memory

“A house made of hay and earth. There are small deities inside adorned with beads made of flower. They look old and pale and full of repudiations. A small ground out front that interconnects.. something..” Looking back at “it”, I don’t quite remember whether it is a dream or a memory. If it is a dream therefore I must have dreamed of it as a child and if it’s a memory, I’m quite certain it’s filled with glitches and false information. Most of us have the notion that our memory is solid and works in a way where we are only able to either remember things or forget things. Where as a matter of fact, our memory works in a quite intricate way. It can transform, change, reform and be unreliable at times. We can falsely remember a childhood event that never took place through effective suggestions. We can be tricked into changing a particular event that did took place or tricked into remembering events that never took place at all. While we might think …

Saudade: The Love That Remains

When it comes to the word Saudade, there are plenty of things that come in mind. The 1974’s Moacir Santos album, the 2011’s Japanese movie, the 1994’s song by Chris Rea, or the 2014’s Thievery Corporation album and many more. But what about this word or expression that led these artists, musicians, and director to make so many projects named after it? Being nostalgic for a time that you didn’t experience can be defined by cascading reminiscence bump, a phenomena when people not only resonate to the events from their own youth but the events from their grandparents and parents youth as well but as a form of musical memory. But Saudade is somewhat quite opposite of cascading reminiscence bump or reminiscence bump in general. It is the longing for a time that someone once experienced and loved fondly but know that they might never experience it again. It’s a repressed belief that the object of longing might never come back. Saudade is a word in Portuguese and Galician that is almost untranslatable in English. …

Nostalgia for a Time you never experienced

You might have heard the quote of L.P.Hartley from the novel The Go-Between: “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” There will always be something about the music that our grandparents and parents would listen to when we were children. They bring a keen sense of nostalgia for a time that we didn’t experience. The music of our grandparents’ and parents’ youth. When we are in our middle or late adulthood we seem to find a great pleasure in the music of our youth. Something that is called a reminiscence bump. A tendency for older adults to have increased recollection for events and memories that seemed to have occurred in their twenties ( adolescence and early adulthood). But what about the music of our grandparents’ and parents’ adolescence and early adulthood?  To the psychological scientist and lead researcher Carol Lynne Krumhansl of Cornell University, this phenomena is called cascading reminiscence bump. In an article published on psychologicalscience he put it “Music transmitted from generation to generation shapes autobiographical memories, preferences, and …

Female Artists of the Victorian Era: Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale

Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale was an English artist in the reign of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and George V who was identified as the last survivor of the late Pre-Raphaelite painters. Born in the reign of Queen Victoria, her popularity mostly prospered in Edwardian era and she became one of the most popular Edwardian artist. Eleanor was born in Upper Norwood, Surrey as Mary Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale. She was the youngest daughter of a Lincoln’s Inn barrister, Matthew Inglett Fortescue-Brickdale and Sarah Anna. At the age of 17 she was enrolled at the Crystal Palace School of Art under Herbert Bone after initially started studying under the art critic John Ruskin. While at the Royal Academy, she came under the influence of John Byam Liston Shaw, who in turn was influenced by John Everett Millais and John William Waterhouse. By the time she was accepted to Royal Academy Pre-Raphaelite painting was led by a second generation of artists including Edward Coley Burne-Jones. The Pale Complexion of True Love (1899) by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale Using the different media such …

Female Artists of the Victorian Era: Helen Allingham

Helen Allingham (Helen Mary Elizabeth Paterson) was an English illustrator and watercolourist in the reign of Queen Victoria who was profoundly inspired by her maternal grandmother Sarah Smith Herford or Mrs. John Herford and aunt Laura Herford. Helen Allingham  was born on 26th September in 1848 in the small village of Swadlincote, Derbyshire. She was the eldest daughter of Alexander Henry Paterson, a physician, and Mary Herford Paterson. The family moved to Altrincham in Cheshire within the first year of Helen’s life where her father and her three-year-old sister Isabel died of a severe diphtheria epidemic in 1862 when she was only thirteen. The family thereafter moved to Birmingham where Helen initially studied art at the Birmingham School of Design at the age of seventeen. A year later in 1867 she was accepted to the prestigious Royal Academy where young Helen was deeply influenced by Foster and Fred Walker, and the Pre- Raphaelite painters Sir John Everett Millais and Sir Frederick Leighton. Her initial career was as a black and white illustrator. In 1869 she was commissioned by the …

Female Artists of the Victorian Era: Evelyn De Morgan

Evelyn De Morgan (Mary Evelyn Pickering) was an English painter in the reign of Queen Victoria, Edward VII and George V who was within the circle of later phase of the Pre-Raphaelites who took their influences from the romantic paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones. Evelyn was born in 1855 to a upper middle class family in London and was introduced to art by her uncle John Roddam Spencer Stanhope. On her 17th birthday, August 30th 1872, Evelyn recorded in her diary “At the beginning of each year I say ‘I will do something’ and at the end I have done nothing. Art is eternal, but life is short”..”I will make up for it now, I have not a moment to lose.” In 1873, she was enrolled at the Slade School of Art and her style of painting developed rapidly in those three years. It is believed that in the beginning of 1875 Evelyn often visited John Roddam Spencer Stanhope in Florence where he resided. It enabled her to study the …

Female Artists of the Victorian Era: Emma Sandys

Despite all the recent research, a very little is known of the life of Emma Sandys. A 19th century English Pre-Raphaelite artist and figure who sustained a successful career as an artist in the reign of Queen Victoria. It is believed that Emma was influenced by her brother Frederick Sandys, an associated artist of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, and his friend Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Emma Sandys was born in Norwich and had received her early lessens in drawing and painting from her father Anthony Sands who was a dyer and an artist himself. It was around 1853, the family put a “y” to their surname. The medievalism in Emma Sandys paintings clearly exhibits the Pre-Raphaelite influences upon them. Her works were mainly portraits in both oil and chalk and most of them are seen to be gazing thoughtfully out of the frame enclosed in their own world. Sandys works are engrossing but we know so little of her that many of her paintings were previously considered as the work of her brother. Only recent researches have …

A Woman Ahead of Her Time: Susan Waters

When it comes to American Folk Art, one name pops up in mind first. The woman ahead of her time, a self-taught artist Susan Catherine Moore Waters or simply Susan Waters. Susan Catherine Moore Waters was born on May 18, 1823 in Binghamton, New York. The daughter of Sally Camp Moore (1788-a 1880) & Lark Moore (1790-1871). They moved near Friendsville, Pennsylvania, when Susan was a child & lived on a farm, which she painted as a landscape later. Susan was a self-taught artist with little formal training. She attended seminary school in Friendsville where she paid tuition of her sister and herself by painting copies for the course in Natural History. At 17, on June 27, 1841 she married William C. Waters whose Quaker connections determined the destinations of their frequent relocations. Susan portrayed a number of her early portraits in southern New York state. She became a successful excursive artist, a supporter of women’s rights and an animal rights activist. But William had a health problem and was unable to provide sufficient income …

A Brief History of Cubism

Cubism is an artistic movement started in early 20th century. The movement was principally pioneered by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) and Georges Braque (French, 1882–1963) in Paris between 1907 to 1914. The cubist painters rejected the conventional notion of copying the traditional perspective of the subject. They were not compelled to copy form, color, texture and space, instead they employed geometric forms in depiction of subjects. The term “Cubism” derived from a comment made by the French art critic Louis Vauxcelles. Louis Vauzcelles described Braque’s work Houses at L’Estaque which he had painted at L’Estaque in emulation of Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) in 1908 as being composed of “cubes”. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque first met in 1905, but in 1907 Braque was first acquainted with Picasso’s groundbreaking Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso himself. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Brothel of Avignon) is considered to be the first cubist painting and was heavily influenced by African tribal art that Picasso had first seen in May or June, 1907 at ethnographic museum in the Palais du Trocadéro in Paris. …

The Tale of the Immortals

Daoism or Taoism is a tradition of Chinese origin emerged as a religious and philosophical system at about the same time as Confucianism , around the 6th–5th century BCE. It emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao or Dao (A Chinese word that signifies “the way” or “the path”. Tao is the natural order of the universe that underlies everything from the creation of galaxies to the interaction of human beings.) Later, with the growing popularity of Buddhism, Daoism acquired all the trappings of a religion. The “Eight Immortals” were the central figures of Daoist myth. They were a group of legendary xian (immortals) in Chinese mythology. Each of them were able to bestow life or destroy evil. These legendary beings have been part of Chinese oral history long before they were recorded in the works of writers of various dynasties – Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming. The Eight Immortals: Photo acquired by Henry Walters, 1915 They had all gained eternal life through seeking the Daoist way. Though they were not gods, their immortality gave them superhuman …

The Great Hidden Sea of Time

I look up. A flock of birds are hovering above. It’s pale and fumy and cold. The sun should be setting in an hour or two. There comes Mr. Eyvindarson, on his way back to home from work. If this would mean to be a story there would have been something about it. There would be a storm or a bad news or good. But it isn’t, it’s just me in my sickbed wondering what and how am I going to publish something and failing every time. Henceforth, Mr. Eyvindarson will be safe and sound and he’ll only live as long as someone is reading this blog. Time slows down by 10 times when we’re sick and bored and unable to pull off anything whatsoever. I think this is something most of my readers would agree upon. As we grow up time seems to move faster than it used to. Similarly when we are on a vacation or having a good time with our family and friends time seems to pass by in the blink …

The August Male and The August Female (Izanagi and Izanami)

Before the universe came into existence, everything was a chaos. It was sunk into a shapeless and unimaginably infinite and vast matter filled with darkness and emptiness. Later there were sounds that indicated the movement of particles. And with this, the lightest and the transparent rose up and formed the Takamagahara (the Plain of High Heaven) and the heavy and opaque gradually subsided and became the earth. In Takamagahara the first Kami ( the spirits that are worshiped in the religion of Shinto ) Amenominakanushi ( Ame-no-minakanushi-no-mikoto (the Deity-of-the-August-Center-of-Heaven)) came into existence. And next the Heaven gave birth to Takami-Musubi-no-Mikoto (the High-August-Producing-Wondrous-Deity) and Kammi-Musubi-no-Mikoto (the Divine-Producing-Wondrous-Deity). These were the three primal Kami and Creating Deities of Japanese mythology. After the formation of Heaven and Earth and Kotoamatsukami (the first gods) seven generations of kami (Kamiyonanayo) came into existence. They were: Kuni-no-tokotachi-no-kami Toyo-kumo-no-no-kami U-hiji-ni and Su-hiji-ni Tsunu-guhi and Iku-guhi Ō-to-no-ji and Ō-to-no-be Omo-daru and Aya-kashiko-ne and Izanagi and Izanami Izanami’s Death and The Creation of the Islands and Deities: Izanagi (He who invites) and Izanami (She who …

An Empty Place

Winter is a great time to listen to music. No annoying noise from fans and as the people are not out as much and traffic comes to a halt the world seems quieter. Those who live in the parts of world that experience snowfall know it even better. There’s a silence in snowfall and fog. It’s like they are getting in the way of sound. It’s actually they really do get in the way of sound but they affect the higher frequencies more than they affect the lower ones. And it somewhat creates a stillness. An eerie, muted and dumb stillness that you hear at nights, especially when you go to bed. Horror movies tend to use this similar technique in order to have a stifle background in them too. But this phenomenon alone is not enough to stifle all the sound in nature. The temperature has a lot to do with the stillness. Cold air is denser than the warm one and sound travels much slower through denser material than it does through lighter …

Thank You!!!

Two days ago I had a notification from WordPress; it read, “You’ve received 200 follows on Community Nap.”  The feeling was indeed overwhelming. And yesterday I received another notification that read that I had 1000 likes on Community Nap.. So thank you so much for all the support and love!! It’s an amazing experience to be able to read all yours fascinating blogs and share my writings with everyone. Thank you!!! I  hope you’re having an excellent day or night there. Happy Blogging. Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

Painted Memories

The other day I was having a conversation about dreams and nightmares with some of my friends. I got to hear a lot of crazy stories and some of them were eerie experiences of sleeping paralysis. As some of you might know and agree it could be a worse experience of them all. Thankfully I didn’t ever have a perception that could be called sleeping paralysis in direct terms. However, I noticed that some of them believes that sleeping paralysis is a spiritual phenomenon and that, spirits truly come and take over the control of their body. I could not agree less. However, as the time went on those stories of dreams and nightmares changed into the experiences of familiarity. Meaning, events that seem like they have already happened in the past; also known as déjà vu. A common intuitive experience that happens or has happened to many of us. A couple of months ago I was on a trip to a beach. It’s a place I visit twice or thrice a year. And every time …

Anna, You’re Lost in a Shadow There

I have been watching a Netflix series lately, which some of you might know the name of or have watched in the meantime. Even though it has just been 2 episodes I think it’d be safe to admit that I’m finding it quite absorbing. It’s called Maniac based on the Norwegian television series of the same name by Espen PA Lervaag; starring Emma Stone, Jonah Hills, Gabriel Byrne, Sonoya Mizuno and many others. Based on these two episodes I think Maniac delineates a time frame that took place in the past, presumably the very late 90’s or early 00’s. But it alludes a lifestyle and technologies that is far better than what it was in those times. A future that never took place but everyone dreamed about in 70’s or 80’s. Even though it feels somewhat nostalgic to have all these influences on our entertainments and lifestyles, I kind of find it terrifying how as we are moving towards the future our perceptions and perspectives are changing along with it. We no longer visualize an …