Book 130, Entries for 25-26 May 2008 with studies of a tree at midday and the bright star Vega reflected in the pond at night, watercolor, graphite and pen and ink on Arches paper in bound volume, page size 4 x 6″
In the Country
I hiked along a freshly asphalted lane through woods and fields past the occasional dirt driveway. Sprays of white blackberry and yellow buttercups brushed my legs. After a long walk the trees opened to a vista of red earth jumbled with roots and stumps. Recent lumbering had left acres of devastation. Beside me of hillock of stumps rose out of the wreckage. I was surprised when a sudden wind seemed to aim right at the point where I was looking. The small cyclone raked a single trunk and the bark scattered all around as if there had been a blast. I was showered in bark. A strange moment; I had to laugh out loud.
That evening I stepped out into the clear night; the sky brimming with stars. Yellow Saturn sat beside Reglus in the constellation Leo above. I made my way through the pitch black down a familiar dirt trail to the pond. Feeling the way with my feet, I turned slowly toward the frogs and other creatures clicking, creaking, and shouting in the brush. Moving closer, the sound became so intense it pelted me, shaking my bones. I looked into the pond where bright Vega sat, brilliant, undiminished in reflection. That light left the star 27 years ago, a point near the beginning of my journals. I laughed again and felt a small part of the pantomime.
Hats off to Wallace Stevens; see his poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.