Friday, December 11, 2020

The Golden Hour


The first time I heard about The Golden Hour was during a residency at The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.  I was there with other fellows--painters, poets, writers composers and filmmakers.  One late afternoon, a fellow artist gave me a ride over to Sweet Briar College to swim in their beautiful lake.  

The water was cool and black and slippery.  The summer sun began to make its descent, slowly slipping under the Blue Ridge Mountains and disappearing.  The artist--a wonderful painter explained to me that this was called "The Golden Hour."

Honestly, I thought this was some kind of come-on.

I had never heard of the golden hour before, but apparently artists know all about it. 

The painter explained to me that The Golden Hour is the fleeting moment before sunrise and just as the sun is setting.  This is the time when the light is most magical.  It's also the time that artists like to capture with paint and canvas because it shrouds everything in a blanket of beauty, mystery and yearning.  It's the bewitching hour.

When I think about The Golden Hour I realize its magic lies in the fact that it is a fleeting moment.  A state of becoming.  Transformation.  The place of change and magic.

I do believe that The Golden Hour is a wonderful place for both artists and writers.  For writers, it's that quiet moment where the hero of your story is still, even calm, just before reaching for the climactic moment in the story.  It's the calm before the storm, filled with possibility, fraught with danger and possibility. 

Oh, and the painter?  Well, the artist and the writer circled the lake, while The Golden Hour slowly slipped away from our grasp and we did not get caught up in a storm, but rather emerged from the black waters, chilled.  We held ourselves in that mysterious moment of magic and beauty.  And that was enough.

My creative advice for the week is to try living and writing and painting from that place of not knowing.

Embrace The Golden Hour.   You'll find magic there. 

Oh, and if you'd like a word to get you started:  "liquid."

Have fun!



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