Friday, May 14, 2021

Storyteller's Journey

Creatives' Love Affair with Nature
Over the years I've noticed that writers and artists draw not only inspiration from nature, but in many cases, nature is their subject matter. Such was the case for me when I penned The Tale of Willaby Creek in 2012. (Photo of author at Lake Quinault, near Willaby Creek.) 

One of my very favorite children's book author/illustrators is Beatrix Potter. As a child, she was inspired by her time in the English countryside while on holiday with her family. She later settled in the Lake District at Hill Top Farm where she kept writing.

Claude Monet was not only the Father of Impressionism, but an avid gardener. Many of his later paintings included his garden and pond. A great example of this is his series: Water Lilies, which is displayed in Paris. (Japanese footbridge over Monet's Lily Pond. 2014) 

The name of Ralph Waldo Emerson is in some ways synonymous with nature. In 1858, Emerson and nine of his fellow intellectuals set off on a trip to the Adirondacks. The journey was said to have been a landmark event: linking nature to literature and art for the first time. (Follensby Pond on left.) 

Last, but not least, is Emily Dickinson. She not only received inspiration from her garden, she wrote and journaled about her garden. In some ways, the birds and blossoms in her garden were her closest friends. (Shown on left, The Homestead - Emily Dickinson's home.)

This is one of my favorite poems penned by Emily Dickinson:

Hope is the thing with feathers 

That perches in the soul

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard,

And sore must be the storm,

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land

And on the strangest sea,

Yet never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

Emily Dickinson

There is a symbiotic element to the relationship creatives have with their surroundings. Are we receiving inspiration? Or a message to be written, drawn, or painted? Is the universe requesting we find the pen, the paintbrush, the parchment so it can "dictate" its thoughts to us?

When the veil of time is pulled back, I believe only then shall we know.