Dec 30, 2010

New Year . . .New Beginnings

Udine Rising from the Waters - Chauncy Ives 1884

Reflections and Resolutions

 I love museums. My affection hearkens back to my affinity for all things historical. The exhibit offerings are so telling of times past and lives long gone by.

I was visiting the Smithsonian American Art Museum with my son this past year. Museum hopping has become a ritual for us during my visits with him in DC. Although he is patient with me  by most standards, he nevertheless knows all too well that I take-my-time whilst ambling through the museum halls; especially the Smithsonian's.

Thusly, he had momentarily left me to my own devices when I came across this breathtaking sculpture. I had journeyed down one of the long corridors and turned into an exhibit room. The presence of this statue stopped me in my tracks. A spotlight cast a brilliant beam of light upon the figure. I was captivated by the softness of her garment's drape and needed to get as close as possible to see how it was humanly possible to render such an etherealness out of the solidity of marble.

She is Undine Rising from the Waters and was sculpted by Chauncey Ives in 1884. According to mythological lore, Undine is a water spirit who is rendered soulless by the gods until such time as when she marries and gives birth to a child. Chauncey depicts her as she rises from the water to a new life with hope for possession of a soul.

In this time of endings and beginnings, it is fitting to reflect upon Undine's search for her soul and the promise of a fulfilled life. May we all reflect on our past and resolve to bring good fortune and happiness to our future.

Happy New Year to one and all!

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