Elkhorn Creek, Winter

The air feels as cold as the water probably is as it crashes over the little falls, mist everywhere, hanging. The sun finally abandons scenes like this, though low light filters through. Following the flow of the creek, I feel like I’m walking on the earth, part of it, like the moving water, the trees,…

River Road

It’s a cold day for driving. River Road winds along the Ohio on the Indiana side, through New Albany and on to the Horseshoe Casino, the power plant, the little ranch houses on stilts. The river looks cold and soft, smooth, slow, reluctantly reflecting light. At dusk, the winter world is mesmerizing.   (Prints of…

Country Road

Names of roads around here are evocative: Long Lick, Stamping Ground, Sulphur Wells, East Honaker, J.B. Lear, Burton, Glass, Lloyd, Skinnersburg, Josephine, Indian Creek, Pokeberry. I imagine a story in each of the names, and as I cruise along one and another road a little country world takes shape, and the stories grow day by…

On the Road

Backroads of Indiana through New Albany to I-64 through Louisville and on at dusk toward home, the sunset burning on the limestone and gray-green brush—as passenger, I can follow the light anywhere, would follow it . . . westward, somewhere, up into the trees. The road pulls on nights like this, and I let it…

Gray Day

A gray day has depth. “Let’s just walk right into it,” I tell the dogs. When we lose sight of home, the trees and fields in the deeper gray reflect thin light oddly, becoming shades and shapes of peculiar beauty. The dogs are happy to keep right on going into the crazy day, deeper, and…

ROM: VARIATIONS

ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM, TORONTO Five intersecting crystals crash into Bloor Street, and people walk by as if nothing has happened. The chaos of angles and grids, the canted planes, the force with which the perfect shapes enter the earth . . . these are not from our world. I stand and look at the impossibility…

Rock and Roll

The plaza, the pyramid, the escalators—the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wants to be important. Inside, visitors pass each other awkwardly, riding up and down. The view from the café across the tubular trusses to the gift shop below is dramatic. The costumes of living and dead inductees hang next to each other on…

Gardens at Casa Loma: Toronto

The September gardens are lusty with oranges and reds, the burning bush, the amur maple. There—the brilliant yellow of the Katsura tree. Hydrangea tall as a man—blue, purple, white. Behind me, swaths of boltonia floating like a veil on deep green foliage. Asters, berries, mums. Great grasses everywhere—striped and spotted. I am lost on the…

Room/ View/ Delphi

“The Sea of Olives,” Bettina says as we drive through a forest of olive trees that spreads from the water right and left across the flat land and up the mountains to their tops. We ascend precariously to Delphi, and I understand what a mountain town is. My room overlooks the deep valley, the infinity…

Just in Time

It’s not easy to tell how cloudy it is fifteen minutes before sunrise. “Let’s give it a shot,” I say to Gina, and we’re off in her Element to catch the sun coming up over the pastures at Graham’s, where she keeps Maddie. I watch the sky the whole drive. Even before the top edge…