Saturday, June 23, 2012

Who says you can’t make pictures with words?






One of my friends, a retired corporate executive, is in her new life a nature photographer, blogger and educator. She captures in pictures the critters large and small around her or the beauty of a lily pond here, a plant in bloom there.

Another of my friends, a former neighbor, paints with oils and watercolors, sculpts with clay. I loved it when I could walk into her studio and see a piece in transition, growing more beautiful with her nurturing nature and each passing day, blooms emerging as surely as those unfolding in the flower pots on my porch.


My sister paints on walls, furniture – turning a piece of drywall or a discarded chair into a work of art or a treasure to be cherished.

Three high school classmates, who at our fortieth reunion took the stage together, are musicians. Their art is their melodies, harmonies and the verses that go with them, their canvas the air catching their songs and carrying them across the college lounge to our ears.

I couldn’t draw a stick figure if my life depended on it. I can compose a photo, make a bad one pretty good with photo editing software, but have no patience to adjust lenses or work with lighting. And music – try as I might, it just never took with me. That was a talent I didn’t inherit, though my kids and grandkids got a double dose. 

My art, I guess, is my words, and as I savor my new life in a home upon a large Missouri lake, nesting all the while, unpacking boxes, covering drab walls with colors that tug at my heart, I take a few minutes from time to time to capture the world around me with the paint brush, the clay, the musical notes that work best for me – my words. Here are a few of my latest creations.

Before an early morning storm
A gaggle of 19 geese seems to be having a convention or coffee klatch in my cove.

Though the sun arose, the sky is overcast, the trees are rustling and the wind is picking up. The pattern of the water moving on the lake has changed, as if someone turned the kaleidoscope. The sky is dark, the wind sounds wicked. Let the much-needed rain come, but, please hold back on the damaging winds and hail!

The first wave of dark clouds has moved on, another, smaller gaggle of geese emerged from its hiding place on the back of the cove, and though the sky is brighter, the wind brings a chill. From a distance comes the first sound of thunder.

I should go up to get ready for work, but am mesmerized by nature unfolding its spectacle before me, like the bright-again sky I'd miss, were I in the shower.

First thing Friday, in the summer
Love this time of day. The water is like glass, shimmering as it moves slightly, lake and sun working together to reflect trees, docks, the neighbors’ swing. Soon the ducks will shatter its calm, the boat rumbling in the distance will zip by, its wake pounding against my seawall, and once again the lake will awaken for its weekend play date. They don't call it Fun Lake for nuttin'.

Just before dusk
Right now the lake looks as if someone is holding a sheet of shiny metal, twisting its corners to make it shimmer. Can’t you hear the tinny sound in the hillbilly band? A lone duck floats by, a squirrel scampers down the sidewalk, and I can hear a symphony of birds singing in the branches overhead.

Saturday morning blog post procrastination
The young squirrel scratches at the grass at the edge of the sidewalk, raises his head, looks about, and scampers to the margarita deck. He ascends the step in a single bound, scurries to the deck chest, and leaps atop it. Another bound and he's on the rail, tail arched, tugging at the hibiscus plant, then across the ledge to the next one, where he lingers longer, inspects more closely. Tired of that, he perches erect for a bit, looks around, slides down a spindle and makes his getaway on the seawall. A little later, in lake time, which has no clock, a chipmunk climbs the deck step. The next furry adventure begins.

© Ann Tracy Mueller 2012  

 (Image via)

2 comments:

  1. The beauty of words to inspire the imagination....or is it the other way around...in any case I love this blog. Deanna

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  2. Thanks, Deanna, for your kind words!

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