Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Times of Treachery


Falls of Tequendama near Bogota, New Granada,
Frederick Edwin Church,
oil on canvas, 1854.

Something primal, I suppose.

I have an endless fascination with water. And with the portal places where water and land meet, in conflict and combination.

The other evening we were as fog shrouded as a set for a gothic movie. Or perhaps from fantasy fiction. Buildings became indistinct, intangible, distorted.

Even the church spire across the way rose like unreal architecture from another world, or another time.

Memory only gave dimension and meaning to the ghostly shapes that loomed out of the enveloping mist, and sound was interpreted solely by translation.

Yesterday morning when I walked the dogs, I saw they had lowered barriers from the dam.

The fret and freshet from melt water, temporarily freed from its icy confinement by winter magic, clamored and charged over it to the pond below.

To batter and beat at the stone battlements of the lower shore, before roaring onward to the river, to the sea.

Waters dark and dangerous. A rushing horde of fluid demons. Alive and black with intent, and a kind of malignancy.

I distrust the wild waters of the thaw. And I distrust the land that meets it this time of year.

Do not be bespelled by motion.

Be careful on the margins these soft, deceitful days.

29 comments:

moonrat said...

I agree with you. Water is a character itself. Omnipresent adn essential for life, giving and sustaining. Sinister in its mutability and potential and soullessness. I never get tired of water imagery.

BernardL said...

I've never read the rush of water described any better.

Jaye Wells said...

Water is a destroyer, creator and muse. Thanks for sharing this. The scene certainly sparks a few story ideas for me.

Bernita said...

Thank you, MoonDear.
Thank you, Bernard.

"The scene certainly sparks a few story ideas for me."
I am always childishly glad when that happens, Jaye.

December/Stacia said...

*shivers*

Now I wanna go write about water! Beautiful as always.

StarvingWriteNow said...

You write the coolest stuff.

The wind has finally died here; woke me up several times last night just howling like crazy.

Bernita said...

Thank you, December.
I just re-read it - now I have to go to the bathroom...

Thank you, Starving. Winds are strong here this morning. Power's flickered several times - but I like the voices in the wind.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

My favorite fog is low-hanging over the valleys and the plains, and the mountains jut through overhead. That's when I realize just how ginormous they really are. Humbling and invigorating all at once.

Demon Hunter said...

Ooh, only you can make water and land sound so beautiful. Awesome descriptions as always, Bernita! :*) Now I wanna go write, but I'm at work! :*(

Bernita said...

SS, I find fog in an urban setting has a much different character/different effects from fog in a rural one.

Thank you, my Demon.
Quick, make sly notes!

Charles Gramlich said...

A beautiful small gem of a piece right here. This is one of those things I'd love to see you collect together. They're like meditations that create a new way of looking at things.

Bernita said...

Charles, thank you. You flatter me beyond my deserving.

Julie said...

It makes me want to paint!!!

Loved the water, but also enjoyed the ethereal flattening of perspective that happens in the mist....

The Anti-Wife said...

Are you sure you're not Charlotte Bronte reincarnated? You certainly write with a beautifully descriptive voice.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Julie. Delightful that the post inspires creative urges.

Again, undeserved flattery, AW. Thank you.

Steve Malley said...

A lovely and lyrical tone poem, reminds me a bit of Martha Grimes on her better days!

You sure do write purty, bernita...

raine said...

Absolutely beautiful, Bernita.
You have such a love of words.

Lisa said...

Your prose leaves me speechless. Thoughts on the constant sound of water trickling when the snow first begins to melt? I find it haunting and hypnotic.

Jeff said...

"Even the church spire across the way rose like unreal architecture from another world, or another time."
"Memory only gave dimension and meaning to the ghostly shapes that loomed out of the enveloping mist, and sound was interpreted solely by translation."

Very nice, Bernita. I enjoyed the entire piece, but especially these lines. Your writing is such a treat.

Bernita said...

Steve, you are very kind. Thank you.

Thank you, Raine - one of the reasons I love your name.

Surely not,Lisa!
Snow melt has a shy and silver sound, like little silver feet.

Jeff, if I were the blushing kind, I would be pink with pleasure. Thank you.

Church Lady said...

I have nothing to add to what's been said already.
Beautiful writing and imagery.

Chumplet said...

Thank you, Bernita, for making the January thaw so beautiful.

How about those skeletal remains of snowbanks, like dirty lace hanging from roadside curbs.

And the wind! Did anyone else lose power today? We did.

Lana Gramlich said...

Lovely writing (& beautiful art.) Water is so everything, y'know? Even 96% of each of us measley humans. The Celts threw votive offerings into rivers & lakes & even now modern pagans consider places of friction where water meets land to be particularly magical. When I went to Canada to visit friends this Summer, I spent more time at my favorite beach than anywhere else. I even skipped seeing people to get in extra time there.

Bernita said...

Eh, Sandra! We had some minor glitches and lost a few tree limbs, but no major outage.
I'm afraid I view the shrunken snowbanks with nothing but relief. Now I'll have room to put snow from next storm.

Thank you, Lana.
I understand that.
I have this supressed desire to go live somewhere warm and be a beach comber of sea wrack.

Vesper said...

My first comment was lost in some Internet connection problems, so here I am, trying again....

What you wrote is just beautiful, Bernita. As always, you've painted a splendid picture with your words.

I absolutely love water, especially sea water, I feel as if it feeds my soul...

Bernita said...

Thank you, Vesper, and thank you.
Blogger has hiccupped on me too recently.
A Wasteland without the sound of water...

writtenwyrdd said...

Such lovely use of language, bernita! I love that picture.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Written!

Lisa said...

little silver feet

yes