Over the Rhine “Snow falls like forgiveness from the sky…”
When the world goes white with falling and settling snow there is forgiveness for trash strewn streets, broken side walks, leafless trees, empty parking lots, brown muddy fields, abandoned cars, shabby buildings, and unattractive landscaping. Their ugliness, faults, and emptiness are hidden, even transformed into something beautiful. Busy streets are silent and the world seems to hibernate for a few hours as the flakes fall and accumulate. Snowfall is forgiveness for strung out students needing sleep and one more day. It can be forgiveness for families, scattered between competing activities and conflicting schedules. There is nowhere to go. There is the opportunity for rest, play, food, and shared labor as the snow must eventually be shoveled.
At a conference a few years ago one of the speakers remarked that good art is pregnant. He went on to elaborate that art should contain seeds of creativity that can grow into further artistic output. This is easier to explain through example than describe, so here are a few…
-Visual art from literature: Think of how many paintings, drawings, and sculptures retell and illuminate the stories of our culture and heritage. Two easy examples are Greek Mythology and the Biblical Narrative.
-Poetry: The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeates is the basis for an Oratorio and song cycle and the last stanza is used to introduce the final episode of Fringe, a science fiction series on Fox. Read the poem below.
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.