Angle to Key West: Spilled Paint (10/3)

Bottom of Lake Pepin – October 3, 2012

Fall coats the bluffs, soaking them in copper, gold, and rusted-red leaves. The colors rise out of the green-brown water and hang under a blue sky, vivid and bright as spilled paint.

Close to shore, every red-flecked leaf, every bit of yellow, is distinct, like single, delicate strokes of a fine-tipped brush. They only smear together as I slide away to the next canvas, the next bluff rising above the river.

I want to stop, to lay underneath each tree and stare at the light shimmering through the canopy, to watch each leaf come undone and spiral to the earth.

But the artist is fickle and fast, beautiful but impermanent.

The paint peels and breaks away as it dries. I can see it at the edges, in the skeletons of trees waiting for winter. So I move, move after the wet paint, move like I’m chasing a slow sunset that’s disappearing over the horizon.

2 thoughts on “Angle to Key West: Spilled Paint (10/3)

  1. I have been thinking of you being chased by winter, and in some ways hoping you will get down the Mississippi quickly. But that is a foolish wish. Every moment is a gift, and now I wish you could lay down among the trees looking up for as long as you’d please…now you are chasing Fall and need only dance with all the possible partners of the moment…the sun, the cool air, the changing leaves, the muddy water…as you pass through on this mighty river.

  2. My great aunt and uncle lived at the banks of Lake Pepin. I find your blog very inspiring.
    Wich I had the time and strength to do that. I kayaked the river Elbe in Germany in 2010 and a fairly big portion of the Rhein in 2006, so I guess I have at least a bit of understanding of your venture.

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