Friday, September 6, 2013

River Horizons

I am in love with big horizons, that wonderful sense of space, that place where sky meets land or water.

South shore of the St. Laurence River
A friend, [thanks so much Raechel] send me this poem, a wonderful accompaniment to the photo.

Monet Refuses the Operation

Doctor, you say that there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don't see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
wisteria separate
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolve
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don't know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent.  The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and changes our bones, skin, clothes
to gases.  Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.

~ Lisel Mueller ~

(Sixty Years of American Poetry, The Academy of American Poets)


  1. Beautiful - just come back from Zennor where I watched 2 wonderous sunsets over the sea

    1. Ah Rosie, isn't it wonderful....I want to move and live beside a very large body of water!

  2. wide horizons, anywhere, everywhere, capture my eye, my mind, my heart, my soul...the place, to me it's a magical place, where sky meets land, meets water, the very in-between-ness of it magic...not one thing or another...but a transitional place/space, where one thing becomes another, merges with another, alchemical...what could be more intriguing than this? so close, almost touching, but not quite...atoms, molecules, dance around, up and down, in and out, a dance in the in-betweens...what is? what isn't? How could that not capture the imagination? And how, as an artist, a creator, can we share that sense of time/no time, space/no space, place/no place...ah, I love it all, senses flooded, looking so hard, seeing nothing and everything at the same time...thanks so much for posting...

    1. Suzan, your words are so wonderful and so right, that is exactly how I feel. Thank you.

  3. Simply stunning Liz - I like those big vistas - they remind me how small I am in the scheme of things, and there is air all around, so much air...

    1. You are so right Fiona, and the air is so sweetly salty, and so moody; change all the time.

  4. oh this is such a beautiful mesh of image & poetry, thank you Liz!

  5. What a thought-provoking verbal image to complement your photograph - beautiful - and it's good to be back on your lovely blog after a long break.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.