Showing posts from October, 2022

Beginning Over, 26. Witches of Yesteryear.

All Hallow's Eve approaches, with its mythical creatures ready to roam the night, banging on doors and demanding their ration of sugar. A night that was once believed to herald a new year, and on which the veil between the dead and the living was thought to be spider web thin, is now a horrendous commercial holiday meant to sell candy, everything pumpkin spice, and costumes of all kinds, including witch costumes with their pointy hat and misshapen broom. Fellow blogger Donnalane Nelson mentioned the witches of history in her blog, The Expat Writer , talking about how they had been treated, and how many are now being exonerated from the crimes they had been excecuted for. She mentioned that Scotland was the country that holds the record for those hunted down and killed. I assume part of the reason for such zealous hunts was the arrival of Protestantism in the form of strict Scottish Presbyterianism, that would tolerate no religious rival, especially Catholicism. We had our own witch

Beginning Over, 25. Looking Into the Past

I had heard of Ruth Matilda Anderson, and had seen some of her photographs, but had never really paid attention to her work, despite knowing she had travelled these lands in the 1920's. Apart from photographer, she was also an ethnographer, and observed and wrote about life in 1920's rural Spain. Yesterday, we went to an exhibit with some of her work at the Museo Provincial de Pontevedra.  The exhibit was set up with some of her photographs on loan from the Hispanic Society of New York, including a painting by Joaquín Sorolla, master of light and shadow. The curators had set up scenes mimicking some of the photographs, dressing up mannequins and using props. The exhibit went through the different means of living, and daily life, to the clothes in use at the time, ending with the scene Sorolla painted in Vilagarcía, of simple people eating a picnic on market day.  From the start, my mind went to my mother. She had been born in 1929, three years after the most recent photographs