Stark shadows on snow. Branches cast graphic shapes: Nature’s modern art
Fragile bunny tracks Trail the length of my sidewalk. Snow too deep for hops?
Anything better than a roomful of girl teens laughing and talking?
(Answer: No! life is good)
Late afternoon sun — Long winter shadows on snow — Golden light shimmers
Ebony sketches As ink on pastel batiks — Twigs, branches, sky glow.
(I wrote this thinking about tree branches silhouetted against the sunset, but this stained glass window captures the look, color, texture, and the feeling so I’m going with the “non-literal” illustration this time.)
We went to the Milwaukee Museum of Art this afternoon for a brief but very enjoyable visit. We saw the new Uncommon Folk exhibit.
As we were leaving, I looked back at the beautiful museum building. The evening sun was being reflected on the lovely wings. I tried to capture a quick photograph, but as always, light is nearly impossible to reproduce.
We drove north along the frozen shore of Lake Michigan. The sky was an Impressionist’s dream of pale violets, pinks, blues, peaches, and tinted white. The frozen ice reflected the pink light most of all. Here and there bare black branches of trees cast stark silhouettes against the pastel beauty. A few chunks of ice sparkled on the icy surface, like gems strewn about. There was no opportunity to stop safely for a photo, so the image will stay in my mind and as clumsily conveyed in my words here and haiku above.
I did not edit these photos at all. This is what it looked like that night. “That night” was last Tuesday, June 25, to be exact. My husband and I were camping at Peninsula State Park in Door County, WI. We found this PERFECT vantage point on the third night we were there.
The luxury of sitting on a beach and watching a sunset from before the sun touches the horizon to well after the last beams fade is magnificent. I hope you grab the chance to watch a sunset soon — wherever you are.
When I was a child
I once sat sobbing on the floor
Beside my mother’s piano
As she played and sang
For there was in her singing
A shy yet solemn glory
My smallness could not hold
And when I was asked
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
I only shook my head
And went on crying
Why is it that music At its most beautiful Opens a wound in us An ache a desolation Deep as a homesickness For some far-off And half-forgotten country
I’ve never understood
Why this is so
But there’s an ancient legend
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow
For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
But we were made for Paradise
As deer for the forest
And when music comes to us With its heavenly beauty It brings us desolation For when we hear it We half remember That lost native country
We dimly remember the fields
Their fragrant windswept clover
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
By the transparent streams
And shining at the heart of it
Is the longed-for beauty
Of the One who waits for us
Who will always wait for us
In those radiant meadows
Yet also came to live with us
And wanders where we wander.
I added the italics for emphasis. What lovely imagery! Porter describes that feeling of desolation/homesickness/joy/sorrow that so often comes when I hear/sing/play/experience beauty so well.
Tolkien describes this feeling, too: both joy and sorrow as sharp as swords.
He was talking about the realm of Faerie, but I think the feeling is real and is very much a part of our lives here on earth.
The full quote: “Faerie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold…The realm of fairy-story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shoreless seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-present peril; both joy and sorrow as sharp as swords. In that realm a man may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveller who would report them. And while he is there it is dangerous for him to ask too many questions, lest the gates should be shut and the keys be lost.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien