Thursday

The Paradox of the Familiar



There is an immediacy in writing about the landscape I seem to require. It's like I need to get it down while it's fresh in my mind, in my eye. Sometimes in my sense of smell.  Probably similar to why many people who paint traditional landscapes want to do so outside. The paint mixes it up with the  scent of grass and oh la la. Perfume.

The last post was inspired by the first green leaf of the season.  Almost as soon as I saw it I wanted to write about it.  Well, not immediately. I stayed with it a while. I stayed with it and let the wonder of it come into me as far as possible.  Then, rather than going on to the studio, where I was headed, I came upstairs and sat down to write.

Wild turkeys were involved in that first sighting of green and the experience of them is always changing.  They are one thing  calm and steady on the hillside bank then they are just as quickly another.  All the while seeming as stable as stationary and as ordinary as they could possibly be. Which is a lie.  Or maybe not a lie but part of the paradox of the familiar.

And maybe that's why, as much as any reason, I need to get the first impression of a thing down quickly.  If I let the wonder of something  I see on a regular basis dissolve into the day without noting it in some way there is a merging of the singular into the ordinary.  Writing lets me hold to the wonder of a thing before it slips back into the always clever disguise of the everyday.  And like a good strong whiff of cut grass or mown hay the look of the word mixes it up with the sight of the green and oh la la.  Perfume.