Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Furious Winter's Rages

Stykker fra den Sneedronningen’s Spejl – Splinters from the Snow Queen’s Mirror (inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s 1845 short story, Sneedronningen) – Antiqued, silvered, frosted, and hand-stained resin frame; white paint; rusted tacks; mirror shards; colour print of “grunge” frost; colour print of Edmund Dulac’s illustration of the “Snow Queen”

Christmastime is upon us once again, the season of peace on earth and good will toward men. A season of smiles. A season of giving, of open, generous, happy hearts.

But some hearts are not giving.

They are not generous.

They are not happy.

There are hearts that are closed—sealed shut—frozen.

Those are the hearts that are longed for by the Snow Queen.

Who is the Snow Queen, you ask?

She is the bitterly cold ruler of the polar regions, living amongst the shifting dunes of snow and floes of ice, with her hives of snow bees.

Snow bees?

Yes, every snowflake created by the Snow Queen is a bee, and just like all bees, they have a queen…

That’s why snowflakes swarm and fly in the winter, and where the snowflakes cluster most, there is their sovereign.

In her great, white sleigh, the Snow Queen traverses the globe in search of those hearts frozen against good and beauty and love.

And she found such a heart in a little boy named Kai.

Kai lived with his grandmother and his best playmate, Gerda, in a garret in the big city. Kai and Gerda loved each other very much—they were happy and joyful. Then, one morning, Kai changed. He became cold and angry, he could only see ugliness and bad in all people—for Kai had a splinter of the Snow Queen’s mirror lodged in his eye, and it soured him against the world.

What is the Snow Queen’s mirror?

It was created by the Devil; a massive silvered looking glass, and anyone that peered into it would only see the worst of things. But the Devil had a plan, he wanted to carry the mirror all the way to Heaven to torment the angels. Thus, he and his minions flew higher and higher toward the pearly gates, but on their way aloft the mirror slipped from their grasp and plummeted to the ground. There it shattered, the splinters flying off in all directions, carried on the wind, and those splinters got into people’s eyes and hearts and all of them would be cursed to Kai’s fate.

Hence the Snow Queen came, in her great, white sleigh, in the midst of a blizzard to take Kai away. And the Snow Queen kissed Kai, twice—once to numb him against the cold, and once again to make him forget all about his grandmother and Gerda and his warm home; to make him forget about happiness; to make him forget about love.

But Gerda did not forget about Kai, she did not forget about love. Gerda went off in search of him—all the way to the Snow Queen’s palace in the faraway frozen north.

There she found Kai a prisoner, alone and still, in the middle of a vast arctic lake, where sat the Snow Queen’s throne. She found him playing with shards of ice, moving them this way and that, as if at work at a giant jigsaw puzzle, for the Snow Queen promised him release, but only if he was able to spell the word “eternity”—a word Kai no longer remembered.

Gerda made her way across the treacherous ice, embracing her beloved Kai. But Kai was so cold, so still, so unmoved that Gerda’s joy became sorrow, and she began to cry. Her warm tears flowed down, dripping onto Kai’s blue, numbed skin, they dripped into his eyes, burning away the cursed splinter of mirror.

Kai’s heart melted.

He was happy, warm and rosy-cheeked again.

He remembered Gerda.

He remembered happiness.

He remembered love.

He and Gerda danced, the ice crystal puzzle pieces being swept up in their delight, and when those ice crystals fell back to the surface of the frozen lake, they spelled out…


So, this Christmas remember that word—eternity.

For only love is eternal.

Only love opens your eyes.

Only love melts your heart.

Only love…

Merry Christmas.