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Friday, February 09, 2007

At Forest's Edge


This canvas sat on a shelf for almost two months; I loved the texture, loved all the cool text underneath the paint, but couldn't seem to do anything more.

I finished it today, and I want to explain...

Now, I like wind-blown meadows and wide-open fields--but what I really love--really really really love, and have since I was tiny--are little hidey-hole places in the woods. Where I grew up in Michigan, there were real forests, places where the trees just seemed to go on forever and ever, and while of course you knew that, well, yes, you could lost in there, you also knew that you could get lost in there and no one could find you. I don't know why that appealed to me so much as a child (and still appeals to me as an adult, mind you) but there you are. I love shady spots with dappled light and the sound of the forest breathing around me. I love how deceptive sound is deep amongst the trees, how repetitive the trunks appear until you look closely and truly see them, standing there patiently with their bark lined like elderly faces. I love the little hollows where years' worth of leaves have gathered for the winter, that good smell of decay and death and growth all mixed together. I said once before on this blog that I heard the trees shrieking as I drove past a fire once--and it didn't surprise me, because I've known all my life that all of everything--life and death and good and bad--live in the forest.

I've known since I was little that if magic were to happen, it would happen in a forest. Maybe that's why I've been dreaming of little houses sheltered by strange and magical trees...

5 comments:

Leah said...

as you may know, i adore trees. i grew up on the edge of a state forest and spent much of my time in the woods playing under tree branches, jumping over streams, making mud stews, fishing for tadpoles, and scrunching up my nose at skunk cabbage. one of my favorite places was a tree that was completely hollow inside, so you could step into it like a time machine and look up into its scary darkness.

i'm loving your magical trees.

Janet said...

I lived near a small forest and we used to play in there. You're right, it is magical. And I still like to have trees around my house. It's just comforting. I like your painting of the little house and the trees are especially cool. They remind me of huge dandelions with the fluff ready to fly away....or sea shells. I don't know the name of them but they're round and pebbly.

tammy vitale said...

I love this picture. But more I love your writing about it. I too had a space in a forest...There was a small open grassy spot in the forest surrounded by thickets of overgrown honeysuckle and wild roses. I loved crawling into a thicket and watching the sun play across the grass....then they built Route 66 right over it. But that's another story.

Regina Clare Jane said...

This was a lovely post- we used to have a forest of bamboo that surrounded our house, planted by my dad. We would play in there and hide and run amongst the tall stalks- I could have stayed in there forever.
And I think you're right about forests- they are magical...

gautami tripathy said...

Very beautiful picture and very good description. I love forests so much..

Do chk mine at:

Yummy!!