Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Simple Gift

As I step over the metal guardrail that protects the crawling cars that cross the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. The hint of a path pulls me down toward a boulder that overlooks a ribbon of water. Although it is summer, the air is cold. Glaciers glaze the distant mountains. But here near this boulder, the hillside is thick with bright blue Cornflower, deep yellow Yarrow, and red Indian Paint Brush.  
I arrange my pallet with the colorful spectrum of the wilderness. Then I close my eyes, splay my fingers, and stretch my arms out as far as they will reach. I do this every time I paint. When I suck in the smell of the river, and hemlocks fill my lungs.
Upon my panel, I sketch the geometry of the landscape. Like a midwife, I pull my river across the scene, until; at last, it begins to flow on its own. Tree shapes emerge at the water’s edge. An island of grass appears where the river bends right. I know now that I am ready.
My brush licks my favorite color, spreading a Cerulean sky as easily as my knife smoothed butter across this morning’s bread. Then Cobalt collides into a canopy of Ultramarine.  Ultramarine, born from lapis lazuli, embraces the top of my painting.
 Oh, let the river flow across the middle ground. Let the mountains anchor the horizon. Let the flowers bloom where I stand in the foreground, and let the sky frame it all. There is no separation. There is only sky, and river, and mountain, and I, I am the creator of it all. 


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