Saturday, March 16, 2024

In the Bleak MidWinter

Dear lovely readers, here is a journal that began in a daydream when I was listening to my favourite Christmas carol, "In the Bleak Midwinter". How familiar and beautiful both the melody and the words are...I've sung this hymn many times and it never fails to stir me, and paint a wintery white scene when the world is cold and barren but yet still full of hope.

'Bleak Midwinter'

I was curious about the words to this carol, and I discovered that the renowned poetess Christina Rossetti wrote the poem that became this wonderful carol. I dove head first into her world and her family, learning about the turbulent and intriguing art scene in Victorian London called The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood created by Christina's brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti and various others Victorian painters.

I began to envision a journal that was snowy white, with glistening icicles; a small tribute to a marvelous, talented and mysterious woman whose poetry is still much admired and now fully recognized outside of the shadows of her well known brother.

The cover is many layers of white and cream cotton and lace, all stitched together with a vintage brooch with a tiny portrait of Christina. These pages are an hommage to this lovely lady, and how even in the bleakness of winter, we can know there is refuge and salvation.

After all the deeply coloured journals I have created in the past few months, it felt so light and refreshing to work with a palette of such pale whites, creams, silver and gold.

Christina's poem "Goblin Market" is perhaps her best know work, and is a narrative poem about two sisters who eat forbidden fruit and struggle to survive the Goblin temptations.

I recently discovered Arthur Rackham, a wonderful illustrator at the turn of the century who created drawings of many famous fairy tales. Below is his drawing for the "Goblin Market" poem.



Lots of wonderful soft shabby layers of poetry, pockets for notes, photos, and of course lots of spaces for journaling your winter thoughts, and of course the long wait for Spring.

In the bleak midwinter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
- Christina Rossetti 1872

Thank you for looking! I hope my winter journal has inspired you in some way, and do go and look up the women of the Pre- Raphaelite period, they were wonderfully talented and outrageously beautiful souls.

Love, Lisa xoxoxo

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...