"Swinging in the WInd" 20x15 pastel
Recently, I received a wonderful gift in the mail from a friend and fan of mine. Unbeknown to me, he had written a story poem inspired by my painting "Swinging in the Wind," and sent it to me. As the recipient, I was humbled by his words - in fact I was moved to tears. Why?
When one of my images strikes another person's emotional or spiritual chord, my heart is rewarded. In this world of sound bites and texting, knowing that a visual creation can cause someone to pause and reflect, is deeply satisfying. Making connections with our fellow humans is vital to humanity, our creativity, and is inspiring. Below is David's writing.
Memories: The Swing
by David Quammen (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
The climb up the hill was considerably more strenuous than it had been those many decades ago. As Jim neared the crest of the hill he could see the tree. His tree, or at least, in those years he thought of it as his tree. Another step toward the crest and he saw the branch of the tree on which the rope had been tied. One more step and the rope came into view.
His heartbeat, more noticeable as a result of the climb, calmed a bit when the swing came into view.
Reaching the crest, Jim approached the swing. Happy to see that it was still there.
Seeing the swing, being gently swayed by the Colorado breeze, flooded his mind with those long ago dreams and fantasies from his childhood.
As Jim neared the swing he noticed the rope was in good shape. Perhaps someone replaced the old rope.
Others must have used the swing. The old rope would have rotted over the years.
Jim's memory recalled the name 'Goodrich' which had been on the tire casing. On examination he found this was the original tire.
Pushing on the tire, it swung with ease. Would it hold him? Could he still sit in the tire?
With the weight of his body he pulled down on the tire. The branch bent, but did not appear to be overly stressed. Jim pulled as hard as he could downward. He thought the swing would hold his weight.
Knowing this would be his last trip to see this hallowed place of his childhood, he decided to take the risk and sit in the swing.
Carefully he put his head through the center of the tire, turned his body and clasping the top of the tire and rope, pulled himself up to where he could sit in the tire facing the valley below.
As he settled his body in the swing, the memory vault of his mind sprang open. Suddenly he was a child again. It was a summer day and he was swinging back and forth gazing into the valley below and the horizon beyond the mountain peaks.
A child's mind can instantly create thought and fantasies.
In the days of his youth Jim would think of the future. At times he would look deep into the valley, perhaps in search of pitfalls which may come his way.
Gazing, even staring at times, into the endless horizon beyond the mountain tops often brought to him a sense of hope, inspiration and belief that he could accomplish his goals, many of them yet to be revealed.
Then, as quickly as his earlier life had come to mind, he returned to the present.
With this change came thoughts of uncertainty for the future. Jim was old, days are numbered.
One more gently swing, then with his feet on the ground, removed his body from the swing.
With an affectionate touch to the tire, he released his hold, turned his back and began the walk to his car. As he began the descent he was compelled to look, once more, at this childhood scene burned deep in his heart.
The swing, swaying ever so lightly, again waiting patiently for the next child to ride the wind - and Dream.
Reflections of yesteryear accompanied Jim as he slowly made his way down hill to his car.
The long planned visit was over. A slow smile came across his face. For a brief period of time he had been returned to his days of youth.
Has a painting ever moved you to writing a response? Or has anyone written or composed music inspired by one of your creations?Comment on or Share this Article →