Sunday, May 13, 2007

river reflection

Spending so much of the last two days along the rivers has almost made time stand still. My father and I have been getting up before the sun, driving roads that are new to at least one of us (usually me), and telling stories of life on this land (mostly him). He said when we were standing on a river bank, throwing sticks for Umber, that being on the river is necessary to feel recharged. It makes you forget every worry as the water passes by, always replaced, always in motion.


One of the main purposes of this trip is to seek out river imagery. Fortunately, my father has grown up and lived his whole life on the rivers here and he knew of dozens and dozens of great sites. This is one of his favorite fishing spots along the Kokosing River, timeless and clear, winding through beautiful ancient hills. This time wandering the countryside has further convinced me that this is one of the most incredible, "undiscovered" landscapes in the country.

field road

Stopping at this farm was almost a mystical experience. I turned from a small road down an even smaller one, and pulled up this sandy road. My trusty travel companion Umber jumped out of the car and bounced through the deep green fields. I listened for a moment to the perfect silence of the country, the breeze through the hay, the insects, the birds. Living in the city, I think I know moments of silence, but this is the only time when I truly hear it.

tiny creek

On Thursday I drove to Kentucky to deliver some paintings to the gallery in Louisville. I continued to Cincinnati to spend the night before taking the deliberate long way home. I love to get lost when looking for land, to drive and drive and be led by some unseen force showing me the way to that next place I simply must experience. This farm was in the flat heartland in south central Ohio, an area I usually drive right through...but this time I stopped to see.

tall trees in georgia

This week I have been on the road, driving many long hours. I started on Wednesday driving to Atlanta and back to switch out some paintings at the gallery. On the way back, I meandered through north Georgia, marvelling all along at the immense pines and golden light peeking through the branches. I finally understood what Eva Cassidy was singing about.