Reflections and notes on the relationship of art to nature and of nature to art from along Warwoman Creek, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Katuah Province of Turtle Island, where the light, the dark, the seasons, the time of deep past, deep present and deep future all mix in alchemal mists to reveal and hide and transform these slopes, shaded coves, bright rivers, deep forests and me, and together sustain me and my art.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fall falls

This is my 67th year. Fall fell with solemnity. The light dimmed. It’s spectrum shifted from viridians, cadmiums soaked in pthalos toward umbers and manganese violets soaked in ultramarines.

I live in a great forest that reaches across the upper fifth of my state of Georgia in the Southern Appalachians of the U.S. The trees have given up their tremendous harvest of hope in fallen nuts and leaves, the leaves blazing just before their descent. In this, an end and a beginning are folded in one another’s hands. I suspect they probably always are in life. It is a hard truth which I never seem prepared to fully accept.

I walk to the river nearby, over and over again, in all the seasons, to see this plainly there in front of me, this truth about this joining of beginnings and ends, and to ask over and over again - just how this can be?

I often return with poems to sing, but always the question too, raw and abiding. Sometimes I abandon my clothes and immerse myself in the river to feel what it’s like to be part of it. But I always climb out, it’s surface behind me mirroring and recalling my shape, without ever managing to leave that question behind in the water- how is it that beginnings and ends are enfolded one in another? And then the greater, nagging question: what does this mean?

I ask my oil paints this same question too. Like a river it flows, yet stays and says: this is presence. What does it mean?

                                                   "Summer Trees, Morning Rain," 2012, o/c

                                             SUMMER TREES, MORNING RAIN

                                                                Summer trees,
                                                                morning rain.

                                                               Beside the river

                                                               all that is
                                                              goes this way.

In this 67th fall, I am closer to my beginning and my end then ever.  I’m often afraid that time is a river that runs only one way - to its end. But this is not what the river says. It runs, but never abandons its beginning - it merely stretches. and in its tremendous elasticity creates and affirms it’s enduring presence. This is difficult to grasp. Our lives are so ephemeral, so soaked in transience. But perhaps it’s not just us - perhaps everything is this way - it’s just the way Creation works. All our names are writ on water. We all follow, inextricably, undeniably, from noun to verb.

So I converse with the river, with its song, with the song I sometimes take away with me, with the paint., and with the words. It’s all a great language, echoing. Everything in the Universe echoes - language is filled with water, water is filled with language.

1 comment:

  1. I don't often have time to check every link that I find posted on FB. Do you have an email notification for your blog? I enjoyed reading the above....I know EXACTLY where you are.