The nights now surpass the days. The pumpkin vines grow pale and fibrous and the trees trade glory for naked vulnerability. We stockpile wood for the fireplace and dry ingredients for soup. Soon enough, Orion the great hunter will shine out from the velvet darkness above us, snow will fall in the mountains, and we will turn our attention inward–to home, to family, to the hidden life of the soul that emerges when we slow down with the season.
For some, the planet’s quiet spinning away from warmth and sunlight might be cause for sorrow, but for northern cultures, it’s a return to a season of beauty that is fostered by effort and intention. Candlelight, the softest pair of socks you own, the blanket your grandmother crocheted for you, a cup of warm in your hand, soles splayed toward the woodstove, a novel or a journal on your lap. This slow, intentional savoring is hygge, (pronounced hue-guh) a Danish word that translates as cozy, intentional, welcoming, special. It’s a way of being, and it is the theme of Kindred‘s fall issue.
This issue we welcome voices that explore this concept in various ways: How can a parent of three young children find hygge amidst distraction and derailment? What does welcome mean for an American woman whose husband is an immigrant? How can one create rhythms of intention in domestic life when domesticity is linked to soul-crushing expectations? How does one embrace the seasons of cold and darkness when suffering from seasonal depression? Add to that a fair amount of wit, wisdom and humor, and we have a beautiful offering for you this issue.
We welcome seven contributors in addition to our five recurring writers, ranging from debut writers to authors with several books to their credit. This issue of Kindred is just the perfect thing to read when you need a moment of intention, humor, and self-care this season. Don’t forget your cup of warm.
Our featured artist is Seattle-based painter Brandy Agun, who says, “I come from a place of duality, having been a software engineer enthusiastically enjoying art classes on the side until eventually that flipped and I became a full-time artist. I have been studying art for roughly 35 years and now every day is filled with painting, designing, sketching and photographing. Everyday life motivates me the most – people doing usual things, a busy countertop of household items or the view inside a coffee shop. I’m drawn to quiet, simple moments that are barely noticed and yet so familiar. For me, painting is always a challenge and always growing and evolving. You can visit my website at brandyagun.com or see my work in person at ArtEast or Fogue Gallery both in WA.” Brandy is also on Instagram at @brandyagun.