Things Are Alive 7

Denali's View

This drawing was particularly fun to do. I wanted to draw Susitna (Sleeping Lady) and the Inlet, and it was a clear-sky day. I didn’t know that I would end up drawing the inside of the car and the view in the mirrors, or Denali (Mt. McKinley, the tallest point in North America). Before heading for this spot, I stopped at Side Street Espresso to fuel up. While I was there I was engaged in an exercise of inner attention that had altered my perspective.

Previously I had noted that there was very little in the way of scenery in the room that seemed interesting. I felt I had mined the interest from the place the last time I was there to draw. However, as I followed the inward focus, I began to feel enlivened in my senses. I began to feel that everything was equally interesting and alive, that every moment of waiting for my soup was infinitely sweet and compelling. No matter where I turned it was the same. I had a sense that there was no limit to anything, that everything could be penetrated kind of like it was a bottomless pit.

It certainly seems that  I carried that perspective with me to my drawing spot, and the unexpected results were due to that preparation.


Ring of Trees

The ring of four birches and one spruce is in our neighbor’s yard. We have a large picture window, and this ring of trees forms our view to the north. There is a reason I wanted to include this photo. Several years ago a couple lived in the downstairs unit with their young child; the woman was from Ireland. She told me that she never went into that ring and that she kept her child out of it at all costs. I thought that was interesting and a bit quaint when she told me. However, after reading over half of Eddie Lenihan’s book about the Good People, there is no way I would go inside of it. Maybe it’s innocuous ground, but maybe not.

[Edit Apr. 9, 2011: The following is a traditional Irish tune composed by Vincent Broderick called Around the Fairy Fort, played on the flute by Ben Saylor.]

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Pamela Ann McDowell Saylor