Monday, March 5, 2012

Seeing Green

The other day I rediscovered a lovely old quote from a Francis Thompson poem.

Spring has come home with her world-wandering feet.
And all the things are made young with young desires

I love that imagery. I love the idea of a woman finally making her way home and opening an old, battered suitcase that reveals myriad colors - brilliant purples, bold yellows, soft pinks. And those crazy, elusive shades of green. Yes, elusive.

In all the artwork I've done, I've never quite been able to capture Mother Nature's greens. I can come close, and I can fool most of the people most of the time. But I can never fool Mother Nature. There's just something about her verdant hues that can't be captured.

This is what I've been contemplating this past week as I sit outside and watch the bold little blades of grass stab up through the matted brown weeds in the field, or the evergreens whispering in all their shadows, or the cottonwoods, maples and willows send out tiny buds.

Green. Those greens. They're rich and warm and inviting even as cold drizzle falls from the sky. They holler, "Springtime! Wake up... wake up, ye Winter Slumberers!"

All I can do is watch. It is not mine to capture this. It is mine to drink in, and to taste and savor like a perfectly aged Merlot.

Yes. Because trying to capture the essence of those Springtime greens and translate them into something that anyone else can, not just recognize, but equally share... that's like trying to tell someone how amazing that glass of deep red was and expecting them to savor it the exact same way.

But you know what I mean. Don't you.

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1 comment:

  1. "It is not mine to capture. It is mine to drink in..." Beautiful sentiment. Reminds me of the time in high school creative writing class where I attempted to 'write' colors for someone who's never seen them before. Very difficult undertaking. Looking back, I think it's interesting that I used metaphors and similes from the natural world to try to convey the feeling of color. I ended the assignment feeling like I totally missed the mark, because like you said, you just can't write a vision for someone else and expect them to see it the same way you do. (And that is a lesson I'm still learning on many levels, btw.) But the exercise of TRYING to describe color with words enhanced my own experience of it and forever connected it to nature in my own mind. There is a quiet beauty in shared observation, even if the actual experience of the thing is different.


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