Monday, June 8, 2009

A Piece of Paradise

Sometimes I wonder if it was the image that came first, not the word. The link between the two is intrinsic, a chicken-and-egg conundrum that rests more on riddle than solution. Both have the power to conjure; one is worth a thousand of the other.

Sometimes words are not enough, or they're too much. It's a deeply philosophical notion to try to grasp the 'beingness' of something. Cliches too often get in the way.

Sometimes a cliche is a point of entry. I lie in a hammock overlooking a vineyard, Moon Mountain, Sonoma. There are hawks circling the sky, birds darting from tree to tree, a lizard sizing me up. My husband is in the swimming pool, ours alone. I think about trips to Napa Valley over the years, the lush rolling hills, the air filled with lilies, the winery tours and tastings that make Napa/Sonoma a tourist mecca. To call the landscape intoxicating is to push a cliche to its limit. Yet there's no other word that captures it all so perfectly. It is a word that trips off the tongue, stumbles across syllables. Makes you linger.

Sometimes words slip away, the spirit rises, the image both contained and illuminated now, nothing separating It from me.