Wednesday, November 6, 2013

the complicated details

Winter Trees

by William Carlos Williams

All the complicated details 
of the attiring and 
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

It seems to me the complicated details of attiring and disattiring go on throughout winter. Still a few leaves hanging on. And then there will be the snow, which turns to ice. Sometimes frost.

The snow clings in the cups of leaves, it clings where it's able.

Small snow sculptures appear.

For a short time, the trees will wear their snowy attire. Fancy dress. Formal. Posh.

In the late morning, the sun will come out, and melt the snow just a little. Small revelations.

As I stood in the stand of trees, I looked up, heard, a flock of geese, late, travelling over. A beautiful V.

The weather, I've found, only happens once.

The combination of light and snow on a leaf, for example, only happens in this precise way, once.

If I walk amid the same trees this morning, they won't be anything like this.

The sun will have melted the frost on the leaves that are yet falling, their arrival a soft cushion, refined sugar.

It's amazing how much colour there is yet, in our newly wintered world.

Later in the afternoon, my backyard. Looking west. The sun kisses the tree tops for a short time, then disappears behind clouds. 

I've saved the roses for last. Soon the colour will be drained from them. I know this deeply and it hurts. 

Any movement or sound is a profession of faith,
as the millstone grinding is explaining how it believes 
in the river! No metaphor can say this,
but I can't stop pointing
to the beauty.

Every moment and place says,
"Put this design in your carpet!"

- Rumi

I can't stop pointing to the beauty, either.

I can't help but add this design to my carpet. 


  1. I'm loving these whitish, greyish, copperish colours in your photos! I had heard that Alberta had been "snowed on" but until now I really had no appreciation how much Alberta had been snowed on! Our weather here in Ontario has been up and down and more or less gloomy lately, how funny to have such vastly different views out of our windows and yet still live in the same country! Hope you are well, keep on writing!

  2. The greys, whites, taupe with a touch of color in your images remind me of my paintings and collages... that is probably why I am so drawn to your blog, your images and words... I am often told that my art is calm, restive, quiet and so my Japanese aesthetic is so appreciative of your images as well.

  3. I love the way you see winter and snow. Such a graceful beauty to all of these.

  4. I save your posts until the morning of the next day, to be the first things I read and see - my morning prayer. Keep pointing, Shawna.

  5. So many beautiful comments! Thank you, all.

  6. The last photo would be a beautiful Robert Lemay painting, I think. The colours of the roses in the snow are just stunning. Such a good eye you have, my dear. I see little snow caterpillars in the firsts shots. Amazing. Well done.

  7. Thank you, again, for the beauty, and for the attention to the world that creates beauty.

  8. Dear Ms. Lemay,
    You have split open a crack into another universe...for me....a universe with clean air and new colors and clam. Even though calm wasn't exactly my resulting reaction...thank you madame


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