Pieter Breugel the Elder, Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap, 1565

Everyone told her it would be cold, but she thought perhaps the snow and ice might wait a while. At least give her a chance to settle in before greeting her. But that, of course, was not to be. Their caravan had been on the move for months now, and she felt that she had … Continue reading Pieter Breugel the Elder, Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap, 1565

Isaak Brodsky, Fallen Leaves, 1929

I'm not sure how long the house has been abandoned, but since childhood it has felt like the old home had been given over to the forest eons ago. My friends and I would meet there after school. We would pretend it was a palace, a dungeon, a pirate ship, and sometimes—when my little sister … Continue reading Isaak Brodsky, Fallen Leaves, 1929

Otto Marseus van Shrieck, A Forest Floor Still Life, 1666

Children the world over have long been told tales about the sinister magic of the forest at night. Stories about witches and hungry wolves and beady-eyed raptors. Stories about darkness swallowing up all traces of goodness. Stories about the innocent entering into the woods never to be seen again. These stories are quickly followed up … Continue reading Otto Marseus van Shrieck, A Forest Floor Still Life, 1666

Rebecca Davis, Honeycomb Quilt, 1846

Before it happened, I was stitching together the red-orange flower that would eventually find its home at the far edge of my quilt. I was bone tired after a day of cleaning and cooking and running after the children, and this was a special time of reflection. There is something divine in the devising of … Continue reading Rebecca Davis, Honeycomb Quilt, 1846

Agnes Martin, Flower in the Wind, 1963

What is it about the desert that makes me feel so at peace? Maybe it is its subtle, sun-faded colors. Its boundlessness. The fact that it is at once monotonous and variegated. The way the rows upon rows of sagebrush slide out into the horizon, greens and silvers fading into silvers and tans. There are … Continue reading Agnes Martin, Flower in the Wind, 1963

Winged Victory of Samothrace, 220–185 BCE

I am hard stone pulled from the earth. For millennia I was pressed and squeezed and heated. My universe was dark and compact. I was limestone, and then as the earth roiled and shifted around me, year after year, millennium after century after epoch, I became what you now see. A "metamorphic rock," a stunning … Continue reading Winged Victory of Samothrace, 220–185 BCE