stand still



oil on linen


in a private collection

sold through Edgewater Gallery

I’m a sucker for backcast light and long shadows,
and this barn in Granville, New York was so tall
and prepossessing that it seemed to holler ‘paint me.’

As I painted, I listened to poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama
about being in the shadow, as well as the shelter, of each other.
From his interview with Krista Tippett, I learned about David
Wagoner and his poem, “Lost.” I love the phrase
‘Wherever you are is called Here.’

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

by David Wagoner