March Slice of Life No. 17 * Celebrate This Week.
I found my slice on a book cover.
I was sorting through a dozen randomly organized books. [Isn’t that an oxymoron?] These books are on a the shelf next to the place where my carry-on bag waits in my office for my next trip. These are books that I’m currently reading or books I keep handy to reread when I travel.
One of these books is David McCullough’s Brave Companions, Portraits in History. I highly recommend it; I’ve read it so many times. I’ve dog-eared pages, underlined parts that inspire me, written in margins. And on the back cover, one morning during a flight, I had penned my observations and thoughts in the form of a prose poem.
Driving to the airport —
Clouds hang low, roll upon roll, dark on the underside. I wonder, Soiled by city smog? We need a cleansing rain. But on top, these clouds are white, bleached by the sun. A light mist falls against the windshield, but not enough to make the pavement wet.
I feel the moment our wheels leave earth. We climb. We join the clouds. They wrap their wispy tentacles around our shell for a moment. We soar beyond them. Pouting at our escape, they close in beneath us, hiding the river, the mountains, the roads, the houses, the schools I know are below.
In flight —
On my right snow-capped peaks rise above clouds — Jefferson and the Three Sisters–stalwart, majestic, unchanging against the azure horizon. On my left, Hood, Adams, Rainier, and St. Helens — pristine peaks, sentinels of my home.
Clouds have dispersed — a few linger here and there. Beneath are mysteriously dark forested slopes, the Cascades. Soon they will give way to desert… to the Rockies… then, to the Great Plains.
I celebrate the majestic beauty of the mountains of the Northwest.
The view from my window during departure of PDX.
Three Sisters, from along Hwy 20 between Sisters and Bend, Oregon
Mt. Washington, taken along Hwy 20, heading to Sisters, Oregon.
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Celebrate this Week
with Ruth Ayres
How fun to have stumbled upon some of your own writing. I like how each stanza is a different part of your trip. I’ll have to pay more attention next time I’m flying.
Thank you. I’m so glad you stopped by here today.
So beautiful! How fun to have found this poem. I love the descriptions and personification of the clouds–looking at them from the ground and from above, and the way they close in underneath in response to the plane breaking through 🙂
What a nice surprise for you when you picked up the book again! I don’t think I’ve ever done that, mostly just random slips of paper and post-its. Thanks for sharing!
I have never done this, partly because I am a library book type of person, and I am not too sure how they would appreciate that. But I love this idea. I think too often, people are afraid to write in books themselves. It’s funny though because they are full of words and stories.
In your very creative post you have captured two strands: the stunning beauty of the Northwest and the ethereal feeling of flying across the country. “Soon they will give way to desert… to the Rockies… then, to the Great Plains.” I enjoyed this perspective because it is the opposite of what I experience when I fly west. I love how you capture the experience of flying in your three segments….driving, takeoff, in flight. By the way, some of my most creative writing moments have occurred while flying….freed from the everyday things that ground us so much of the time.
Yes, a lot of fun and so well put together with those amazing photos!
Mountains really speak to us, don’t they? Mountains and cloud observations in your piece- where the land meets the sky. And the perspective of seeing the clouds from above, as you can in a plane. Nice that you re-discovered your piece.
A writer writes on whatever is handy. I have been to the Pacific northwest. I think that is long overdue.
How fun to find that poem some time later. Your words are lovely and the pictures make me want to go to the mountains.
Thank you for sharing your version of green this Saint Patrick’s Day. Your words and your pictures are lovely! I will have to remember to turn to books when I am lacking inspiration for a writing piece.
A lovely reflection – and I love that you wrote it on the book cover 🙂 I think my favourite bit (on a first read) was the clouds with their tentacles & the plane as a shell – and then the clouds pouting as the plane breaks free. And, of course, I enjoy the pictures. I lived in Portland for 15 months once upon a time and I still miss the mountains.
Thanks for the lovely visuals both in your words and in your photos. I have tiny scraps of writing everywhere now, but none as beautiful as yours.
I don’t usually write in books since I get most of mine from the library, but I love that you wrote an actual poem about your flight. Very cool.
A slice on a back cover-how interesting. I really enjoyed the format, Alice and of course, the beautiful photography. I sometimes feel like I am desecrating my books when I write in them so I use post-its a lot. In fact they are all over my desk. I know that I keep asking you to write a poem for my winter gallery so I have a great idea. I think your 2nd photo is wonderful-perhaps you will write a short piece, maybe a haiku or a prose poem to accompany it and send it to me??? Would love that.
Yes, I write in books and sometimes write random notes. I like that your thinking captures the flight in real time. Now I’m going to look for my book notes while cleaning my office this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration.
You definitely have a gift for poetry (I remember other poems you wrote during past SOLSC years!). I especially love your description of the clouds as you drive to the airport. I also live in the Pacific NW, and you captured this scene so accurately.
I like the set up of drive, take off, in flight – kind of set the stage for 3 mini poems. Great pics