Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Morse Mountain to Seawall Beach

Nature is an artist.
She sculpts with driftwood and paints with seasons.
Her canvas is Morse Mountain in Maine.

The trail is a dirt road,

Traversing the marsh,

Climbing to a summit overlooking the ocean.
 Nature draws a portrait with water. 

She mixes ochre on her palette and drops splashes of cadmium red. 

Pine trees transition to dune grass.  Smell the ocean.

Clouds are brushstrokes on the sky.  Feel the wind.

Waves weave an ocean blanket.  Hear the surf.

Wet sand abstracts the sky.  See infinity.

Driftwood is sculpture.  Touch it.

Seawall Beach is her masterpiece. 
I only leave my footprints on the sand,
My words upon a page,
And her images in memory.

Happy Birthday to my brother!


tina said...

Your blog is such a joy walking along the beach. Happy Birthday to your brother!

A Cuban In London said...

Your first sentence summed it up for me because that's how I feel very often about nature. And if nature is a wonderful artist, you're a very apt and creative agent. Thanks for showing us nature's arts portfolio :-)!

And happy birthday to your brother, too!

On Zadie Smith's latest part, I agree with her up to a certain point. Definitely there needs to be a bigger effort on the reader's part to interpret what's on offer from the writer but what if the reader is content with just novels by Jackie Collins? He/she would not be able to appreciate Margaret Atwood's subtle humour. But that wouldn't be his/her fault, nor the writer's, but the reader's choice of reading material.

I think it's rather different from an author's point of view (I'm thinking of you now) this whole reader's talent vs writer's oeuvre. It lends itself to all kinds of interpretation.

Many thanks for your comments, they're always welcome.

Greetings from London.

troutbirder said...

What beautiful scenes and the perfect words to go with them. Thank you Sarah.

☆sapphire said...

Hello Sarah,

How beautiful those landscapes are! As you say, nature is an awesome artist!! I love the first, fourth, and last photos in particular!
I'm now reading Russo's "That Old Cape Magic". Griffin's mother's way of life intrigues me now!

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Exquisite in every sense. Nature too! :)

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

A beautiful story and pictures--I feel, I was walking with you.

Hope your brother has a great birthday!

Tracy :)

David Cranmer said...

I'm hoping to be back there soon. Amazing country. "Nature is an artist" is so true.

Cid said...

Oh, how I miss Maine. There is no place like it. Thank you for sharing your magical photos.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh gosh. How I'd love to be there today. Just beautiful.

Oh, and happy birthday to brother!!

Anil P said...

The third picture - a beauty. It's easy to forget there's a marsh there what with the skies reflecting in the water.

With that kind of natural beauty around you it is a wonder you get any writing done at all :-)

TBM said...

My gosh, you really do live in a breathtaking part of the world. I always look forward to your words and pictures.

"Hartelijk gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag" to your brother!

Sarah Laurence said...

Tina, thanks! It is unbelievably warm for November in Maine. Reached 70 at Popham Beach on Sunday. Bliss!

ACIL, I love the idea of being nature’s agent. I’m really enjoying the discussion around Zadie Smith’s article on your blog. You are right: reading is a matter of personal choice. A good writer should be able to communicate, no matter what the genre or material. That’s why I find books on the border of commercial and literary attractive, especially the ones that tackle the issues without losing the average reader.

Troutbirder, thanks for noticing both the images and the more subtle words.

Sapphire, it is gorgeous here. Good to hear that That Old Cape Magic is available in Japan. The mother is a most intriguing character.

Bonnie, thanks!

Tracy, I didn’t feel lonely because I knew I’d be sharing the hike with all of you.

David, Maine is worth experiencing in all the seasons. Well, maybe not in mud season.

Cid, Maine is definitely special.

Pamela, with your eye for natural beauty, you would love it here.

Anil, I thought you might appreciate the marsh shot. It reminds me of your marsh shots in India, even if the vegetation is different. As for the call of the wild, that’s why I have 2 professions. I’m out painting and taking many photos during the warm months and writing in my cozy office during the LONG winter. If a Maine novel is set offseason, it was most probably written by a local.

JAPRA, what I love about this hike is you get an amazing view for very little effort. It’s just 2 miles in to the sea, and the mountain is really a hill. Cool – I bet no one has ever wished him happy birthday in Dutch before. Your lessons paid off well.

Delwyn said...

Sarah is an artist
she paints with words and photos
she draws moods and memories
and nourishes the spirit...

Thank you Sarah
Happy days

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for the birthday wishes & Sarah for the writing & wonderful pictures. This has to be by far my most international celebration.

Les said...

Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous place. I particularly like the first marsh picture with the clear reflection on the water. I am envious of your trip.

Sarah Laurence said...

Delwyn, I love it!

Anonymous brother, another happy year to you.

Les, the marshes look a bit like your part of the coast. I do hope yours soak up the flooding.

Anil P said...

Ref. to your third picture again. If this location is near to where you stay, I wonder what it might look like when photographed from the exact same spot through different seasons.

Also curious of how the marsh, with the stretch of water might look like if shot closer to the ground and more of a play to the water in the foreground.

Some of your landscapes might lend themselves beautifully to black and white, specially if objects like the driftwood can stand out starkly in blazing white against the shades of black as the object rising overpoweringly in the foreground. While it might require a wider angle lens, still might be an useful try.

What a beautiful place you stay in. Very nice pictures too.

Sarah Laurence said...

Anil, great suggestions! I won’t be going back to Morse this month because it is deer hunting season. I actually took these photos in October but was saving them for my brother’s birthday. He loves hiking and driftwood. I have another post with Morse Mt. images (September):

more Morse Mt and Seawall Beach photos

You’ll be able to follow my Morse Mountain posts through the label. I’ve always wanted to come back in winter with my snow shoes.

On my wish list is a better lens for my DSLR. I guess I’d better sell more art and books!

Kelly H-Y said...

WOW! Gorgeous words to accompany stunning photographs. The color in those photos is unreal!

Bee said...

I feel that respectful silence is, perhaps, the best response to this poetic merger of words/photographs . . . but I know that isn't very satisfying for you as author!

I do especially love this last photograph, and yet that interesting "wet sand abstracts the sky" is wonderful, too.

I have been reading one of those "I Wonder Why" information books about space to one of the little boys that I tutor. When you think of the barrenness of the other planets, it is just so awesome and mysterious to contemplate the natural beauty of this world.

Bee said...

And I forgot to send birthday wishes to your brother! Such a lovely tribute, Sarah.

Dawn Maria said...

You have such a great eye with a camera. I couldn't help but be reminded of the Ang Lee version of Sense & Sensibility in some of those photos. Especially the scene of the seaside hill where Marianne falls and meets Willoughby... maybe it's just me.

Donna said...

Beautiful! And your photographs are stunning.

Hana Njau-Okolo said...

Happy Birthday to your brother! What a wonderful gift you give us today on his behalf.

The way in which mother nature reshuffles her deck, the way you have represented her here, fills my spirit with longing and rapture.

Your pithy lens needs no upgrade in my eyes. Love it!

Mama Shujaa.

Sarah Laurence said...

Kelly, thank you! The colors are intense in autumn.

Bee, I felt a silent awe for the beauty of our planet that day. It’s a tribute to nature and to my brother, who appreciates it too but has little time for such contemplation. I loved the post, rich in memories, which you dedicated to your brother’s birthday too.

DM, wow! That is a huge compliment. I love the cinematography of Ang Lee’s films. As for the connection to Sense & Sensiblity, there is a reason this part of the world is called New England.

Donna, welcome back and congratulations on your baby boy!

MS, thank you! My images are fine for the internet, but they would look better as prints if I upgraded my DSLR kit lens. I use Lightroom software to sharpen the images in compensation. It’s still a pretty good lens and lightweight, so good for hiking.

Elizabeth said...

Your stunning photos really leave us thinking that there is not much we can create that approaches its loveliness.
This was a particularly gorgeous post.....
but then I'm addicted to beaches and skies.
Happy, probably belated by now, birthday to your brother.
ps will you be in NY any time soon?

Sarah Laurence said...

Elizabeth, living in Maine I naturally turned to photography and realistic watercolor landscapes. It's hard to improve on what is there to behold. I'll let you know about NYC soon.

Jan said...

Your photos make a wonderful gift to your brother, Sarah.

Rose said...

Beautiful photos, Sarah! And as artistic as they are, I know that the images of nature are even more artistic in real life. Love the driftwood and the waves on the water.

Carol said...

Hi Sarah... what a lovely, poetic and artistic post. Nature as the artist... as you say... and your words with your photos are perfect, poetic and inspiring. Your images breathtaking... every one! So glad to have found your blog. What a sweet birthday post for your brother. Carol

Sarah Laurence said...

Jan and Rose, thank you!

Carol, welcome to my blog and thank you! I really enjoyed the photos on your blog too. It’s so nice to connect with you!

cynthia newberry martin said...

Happy Birthday to your brother too! What lovely words and images that work together to create something more. I am particularly drawn to the photo of the pine trees turning into dune grass. Love the angle and the light on that one, which seems to give it a lot of depth.

Sarah Laurence said...

Cynthia, it was fun how everyone has a different favorite. I've only seen that odd combination of pine trees and dune grass in Maine.

Kathryn/ said...

Absolutely lovely, Sarah. Thank you for sharing that treasure of a journey!

Charlotte said...

There's your picture book, Sarah!

Sarah Laurence said...

Kathryn, thanks!

Charlotte, great idea . . . once I sell my other 2 books.

Juliana said...

your blog has such good images.
loved it.


Sarah Laurence said...

Juliana, thank you and welcome to my blog! All the way from Brazil, cool.