out of a mountain of grass and thistle
YASE: SEPTEMBER, from No Nature, by Gary Snyder
Old Mrs. Kawabata
cuts down the tall spike weeds—
more in two hours
than I can get done in a day.
out of a mountain
of grass and thistle
she saved five dusty stalks
of ragged wild blue flower
and put them in my kitchen
in a jar
I am a true child of the Eastern United States, spending my life outdoors in the Ohio Valley, Hocking Hills and the Tennessee Mountains. I always embraced this land, and for the same reasons—profound intricacy and fecund beauty, soft green fields and rushing water, and mystery around each curved path—that had Annie Dillard living at Tinker Creek. I road tripped throughout the Western US with my mom in 1998, and although I enjoyed visiting the new landscape, I returned home knowing my true Place; I would never live in the West. So…
I met my husband in 2001, and we moved to Colorado’s Front Range Mountains in 2005. The landscape felt so masculine—harsh, hard-edged and desperately dry, its broad strokes and extremes a grand display—with no natural canopy to conceal human proliferation from the view. I felt completely out of place, and I struggled to connect with the beauty I knew existed in my new environment.
This body of work is a result of my beginning to be at home and at one with a new landscape.
All images in out of a mountain of grass and thistle are digitally captured, processed and printed with archival pigment inks on fine art paper.