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Where, From Here?


When I was growing up, my Dad’s job required quite a few moves.  I’ve talked to other people who changed schools as often as they changed wardrobes, and it hits us in two ways- either we become permanent rolling stones or we spend our adult years yearning for that spot on the planet we can finally sink our roots and call home.  Now for one reason or other I’ve lived here in Illinois for WAY more years than I’d planned.  It was never going to be home.  No indeed.  It was always just the place I found myself, embarrassingly enough, until I managed to go home.  Home for me, I always felt, was the Pacific Norhwest.  You know, where all the big trees are.  Only, they aren’t.  Not anymore.  We humans have hit the area like a plague of locusts.  Walk a little way into a redwood forest and you find it is nothing but a heartbreakingly thin ribbon, hiding clearcut.  Or, as I did recently, take a look around Seattle.  Where I remember Douglas Firs looming mysteriously in banks of fog, there is now nothing but 10 lanes of freeway.

Huh.  I didn’t see any of that coming.  How can humans dare to cut down thousand year old trees?  What were they thinking?

There is nothing like being confronted with the permanent loss of something you treasured to bring home things like mortality.  I don’t have a thousand years to wait for those trees to grow back, even supposing the communities would refrain from paving the land over in the meantime.    I guess maybe I’ll stick around here, after all, and watch my baby oak tees grow.


It’s snowing today…

5 thoughts on “Where, From Here?

  1. Happy snow.
    What I like about the first painting is that although the shadows in the foreground run crosswise and almost seem to block the path, in the mid-ground there’s a distinct arch of branches that seems to invite us to venture farther along the path, where the shadows are less distinct.

    Steve Schwartzman

    1. Thanks, Steve. I thought perhaps those shadows were a bit too hard…I think I’ll soften them. But you caught the arch! I loved that when I saw it and wanted especially to capture the feeling it gave me. I’m glad you like it!

  2. I like this painting, too. When I first saw it, my immediate thought was that this looked like a real place, like a place I might have been before, a peaceful place.

  3. It makes me happy to hear you like it. Thank you! It is indeed a peaceful place I love to walk…

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