I am sitting upon a dry bank of sand, overlooking the river, and already I am in the shadow of the mountain. Across the river, the forest is illuminated with that rare light, a cold and golden glow, woven with the shadows of gray, subdued rose, and dark maroon-brown.
The river before me flows eastward, before it turns north, and Pine Ridge rises above it, basking in this last light. The alpenglow is reflected in the dappled surface of the river—a burnished gold, tangled with a throaty indigo, for the water runs thickest in the shadows before me, singing deep and singing blue. It’s so beauitful I almost wish I’d bought my paints, or at least my camera. But I’ve brought only my journal and my pen.
Everything touches everything else. And so this scene before me lives now, within me; this river, running thick and fast, the old small stones on the opposite shore, in sun-bleached shades of gray, sienna, and blue. The small clouds, tinged with pink. I am a thread in this world, I am bound to it, and made by it.
And here’s the thing. Nine months later, drawing out this scene, mark upon mark, it has felt more alive to me than any landscape I’ve ever done before. I’m not even sure if, objectively, it’s any good. But to me it is, most curiously, alive. As if the threads of the river and sky and free and stone that wove themselves into me on that lovely Christmas afternoon turned around and wove themselves into this image. I find myself humbled by the beauty of world, and inspired beyond measure.