Of Goddesses and Sunsets and Swots and Writers with Wandering Minds…
A writer’s studio. What a stunning image. I love impressionism and the colours in this are so saturated and glorious!
Some writers say that windows and views distract them. In my case they help create a creative ambiance and are less likely to distract me from writing than many other things.
Of course this sunset or sunrise? Would distract in the very best way.
I have described sunrises and sunsets in my books and sometimes the words seem to describe something ridiculously exaggerated. The wonderful part of fiction is that the words get to be thought by a character whose own education, beliefs, personality, and mood are allowed the liberty to use whichever fabulous words they want. Thus Persephone, whose culture still worships the old Greco-Roman gods, can have a thought like this–and those reading in a Kindle or other ereader can touch Hesperides* to find out more, if they want. [Because that’s the other quandary–do you use the occasional word many readers won’t know or not? I generally do, even though I had to look it up before I used it. Because Persephone knows the Hesperides. Partly because she’s an unusual young lady for her time, quite the swot, and more importantly because she is religious.
“When they broke out of the heavy forest and into the open, she could only stare. It was the magic hour, that time when the sun’s low-slanting rays painted the world with a warm glow. The footpath skirted the edge of the low mountain, above a patchwork of fields and wide expanses of brush and gorse, rolling away to a shimmering body of water. The sun on the horizon turned the sky all the colours of persimmons and deep plums. Never had she seen such a sunset. Surely the Hesperides had rarely spun such magic across the sky. The earth was washed in golden magenta as the sun prepared for its descent into the sea.
“Come,” he snapped. She scurried forward, her attention torn between the treacherous ground ahead and the map of the world spread below.”
This Crumbling Pageant,
Volume One of The Fury Triad
And… golden magenta? Is there such a color? There is in a particular sky where the two shades flow so beautifully that they influence one another. But more importantly, it’s Persephone’s attempt to describe the sky when reaching to describe the indescribable. The Hesperides are real to her, and this is their sunset. And really, who has words sufficient to describe the divine?
Now I am going to have to stop myself from searching for an impressionistic or even realistic photo or painting of a sunset along the Welsh coastline that would give such a magical scene.
For THAT is the kind of thing that distracts me. Not the sunset out the window, which I can glance back and forth at, but the thought that makes me wonder and want to know or find more.
[Okay, so sue me, I was not able to stop myself from looking for a painting of the Hesperides. This one by Edward Burne-Jones is another style I adore–the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
And that also led me to an image someone enhanced and saturated to come up with colours much like those in the first painting, certainly more representative of the evening and golden light of sunset in my mind, not to dispute the beauty of the original, mind you!
*Hesperides: In Greek mythology, the Hesperides (/hɛˈspɛrɪdiːz/; Ancient Greek: Ἑσπερίδες [hesperídes]) are the nymphs of evening and golden light of sunset, who were the “Daughters of the Evening” or “Nymphs of the West”.
If you wonder how to pronounce it, the Collins Dictionary gives both the American and British. Just click the red speaker icons. Oddly, it gives different definitions for each, too.
And finally, I realize that many of you did not need the Hesperides explained! I had to look up which Greek deities might be involved with the sunset, so figured there are probably others like me who would appreciate a bit of explanation!
Now, if you’re still with me, what would be your dream view out your window? Would it distract you from what you need to do? Would you care?
Tell me in comments!
And of course, William Walsham How did a lovely one in a seldom-sung verse of Vaughn-William’s holiday favorite, “For all the saints.”
The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon, to faithful warriors cometh rest.
Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest.
Oh my. How beautiful!
I wish you could come visit me, I’d take you the Delaware Art Museum. It has the largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art outside of the UK.
My signed copy of book with Rossetti’s art came from there. While I know he was not the best person, his work is beautiful.
Holy cow–I had no idea. That goes on my list, for sure!
Flowers, beautiful trees, birds (the greater the variety the better) water (ocean, lake, pond, river, preferably that I swim in) grass, NO BEES becauae I am allergic
As for paintings of sunsets on the Welsh coast
Oh be still my heart! So gorgeous! Thank you my friend, and I hope you’re having a wonderful birthday!
BFF posted a buncha photos on my timeline