Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Just below the surface

Just below the surface, Souhegan River, Milford, NH, September 2006, HP Photosmart R817, Exposure 1/60 sec @ f2.8, ISO 50, with flash © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

Can you hear the gentle rippling of the shallows? You can see by the convergence of diminutive waves and crests? This is the where the current reflects off objects in the stream, and creates the dance of light and sound.

And there, just below the surface, a fallen leaf waits patiently, taking a little respite from its journey down stream. Soon enough, the water will shift again, and an upward current will likely bring it back to the surface. Soon enough — but until then - it is art. We call it art, nay, together, we make it art.

But of course, first we must notice ...
"The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself." -- Henry Miller
And what of it? Well, listen closely. Can you hear the notes ... the melody? I can. So soothing, so moving. As you lean back and soak up the afternoon sun, smell the pine bows, feel the damp soil with your hands, and smile. Something connects. Nothing else to do. Nowhere else to be. This is where you belong, right here, right now.

What of it, indeed ...

It’s waiting for you, just below the surface of our work-a-day world. There, just below the surface, where you are protected from the current that is trying to sweep you along, to jostle for your attention, to whisk your day away, in the never ending lists, and the stuff that must be done.

Listen again, more closely. Isn’t that your song? Don’t you recognize it? It is in us all, somewhere deep within ...
"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony." -- William Henry Channing


Anonymous said...

Steve, you wrote, "It’s waiting for you, just below the surface of our work-a-day world." This is a great thought.

And it is there, waiting, I am sure. What is waiting? Well, just like Henry Miller says above: the mysterious, the awesome, the magnificent world.

But I have to remind myself all the time about this...or I miss it. As a friend of mine once said, "It is important to constantly remind yourself of the things you know...otherwise, you forget."

Annoying isn't it?

Steven Crisp said...


Not annoying -- it is a gift, really. If you keep reminding yourself, you have the opportunity for gratitude. If you didn't have to remind yourself, you might take just it all for granted.

Thanks for your comment once again.