Salty or Sweet?

Doesn’t it seem like we get asked a lot of This or That questions? For example:  Do you prefer cats or dogs? Are you a spontaneous/right brain person or a logical/left brain person? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Active or passive? San Franciscans: Do you prefer fog or sun?

Dichotomies abound!

This line of questioning is a conundrum for me, because I am rarely This or That. I prefer food that has at least two things going on, like spicy/sweet or bitter/sweet. I’m an extroverted introvert. I’m a doer that thinks, while my husband is a thinker who does.

I experience a similar This/That aversion regarding fields of study. A lifetime lover of the word, particularly the written word, I have pursued studies and positions that involve communications in a variety of formats. But there also lurks in my heart a love of earth science. My recent writing has somewhat unconsciously given both loves a place to bask in the sunlight.

Before submitting my Master’s writing project to the university library, I am looking at it with fresh eyes. I’m thinking about my writing process and noticing where the words shimmer, as opposed to getting the reader from here to there. The poetry comes into my writing when the sanctity of nature is explored.

The Piscataquis River is an important presence that runs through this body of writing. The fictional characters live in communities along the nonfictional river in Maine.

Giving the river presence and voice helps me step into the writing with a spirit of reverence. Immersion into the river-as-character creates a ripple effect that deepens my exploration of the surrounding characters. Humans are complex, human interactions much more so, and doing them justice is hard work.  Honoring the natural world is how I can float into more challenging, deeper writing.

Intersections are rich for this very reason. They are places where what we know gets to interact with something less familiar or comfortable. Where things that were once distinct can co-mingle and evolve.

I was puzzling about dichotomies and intersections of seeming divergent interests, when some illustrative images fell into my lap. Don’t you love it when that happens?

Art & Science, as related to the Midnight Heron, found within twenty feet of each other on a recent walk:

Examples of a science-inspired art can be found on Bernie Peyton’s website. He’s a wildlife biologist who creates amazing paper sculptures inspired by the animals he has studied.

My friend Bob McCauley is a gifted and respected painter who finds inspiration from the natural world. Bob’s work was described by Poet Laureate Billy Collins as “realism that is haunting and full of ambiguity.” Rather than using words, Bob paints thoughtful, beautiful metaphors.
It is a rich intersection.

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