The Harvest from Earth's Palette
Written by Janice Hussein
at The Gorge White House
Earth. The human playground. Like a parent, it watches the generations, as we play. I see that here at The Gorge White House, as I walk through the House, as I look out across these beautiful fields and hills. The trees, mountains, and hills stare down at us like ancient statues—centuries and millennia old—watching us carve out our lives, express ourselves through actions, words. The land pulses with the wind as it ripples through trees, and through and over the human lives, those writers and painters, workers, harvesters and visitors, scattered across its surface. It picks up and bears along the essence of each, like a huge palette of colors, sketching the land with what is there, with who we are. It's like a diary upon which our human stories are told. Our tales are engraved into its surface. Those tales are its harvest.
Art captures those moments, those stories. The Earth whispers into our bones the age-old ways of storytelling, of capturing life in art. But the Earth captures who we are. We are the art; our lives and selves are the medium. We paint the world with who we are. We are the figures in our own paintings, the heroes in our own stories, the decisions we make about life and others--decisions that may be truth, or what we need or want to believe.
The courtyard of the land awaits, with empty tables, to be filled with players. We carry around a frame, holding it up much like an artist, seeing sections of that courtyard, like a photo album, spread across the landscape, a scene here, a grouping there: visitors on covered porches; painters with canvases, on balconies, near orchards; writers sitting in gardens, gazing at mountains. Each group, each person creates their own story. While Life frames us into what or who we are, we frame ourselves by what we do, how we live our lives, by the choices we make. So we paint ourselves into the landscape, surrounding ourselves with our own frames. But we are in turn painted by nature as part of its palette.
How well we learn to frame and paint our lives determines how true our reality is to the fact of life, of nature. As we live, we change our palette of colors or words; we determine what they will be. We can't blame the palette, the paintbrush or the pen if we haven't learned to make the right brush strokes. Those who study, who listen to those age-old whispers, can make true likenesses, brilliant interpretations. The Earth—even the century-old Gorge White House—looks over our shoulders, to see how we do, and how close to perfect pitch we become in our lives, in our art.
small echoes of the land. Each of us, in our own way, is a painter,
writer—each with our own palette, our own pen. And whether we become
or create true reflections of that beauty and harmony is determined
by how well we harvest the lessons of centuries, in our minds,
our hands. It is another kind of harvest.
Janice Hussein, MS: Writing, Phi Kappa Phi. Janice is a Freelance Book Editor, Writer, & Workshop Speaker, who also offers online fiction workshops. She may be contacted at documentdriven.com.