Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Artistry of a Freezing River

Winter makes a bridge between one year and another.   -Andy Goldsworthy

Even as we are in the midst of a slight thaw this week, I enjoy watching the changes the river goes through as it freezes. The appearance is fascinating and always changing.

It would not take much imagination for the larger view to be perceived as a beach scene, frozen in time with slightly skewed coloring. The photo below looks so much like waves crashing to the shore. The curves at the shoreline remind me of curves of foamy waves retreating back to the ocean. 

However, a closer view reveals a long, frozen "wave" of pointy ice sculptures.

Interesting how the rhythm and flow at the heart of it all seem untouched and unchanged, despite changes taking place on the surface.

Last week, the moon looked so beautiful and haunting as it rose over the mostly frozen surface of the river. It was 1° and windy outside, though, and I was not able to take a decent picture; my fingers felt as if they were beginning to freeze! So I captured the image in words, instead:

Waning gibbous moon
rises over river:
Slightly tipped bowl of light
spills luminous chain
across frozen surface.

I'm also drawn to the visually diverse bands that run parallel all the way across the river.  

Throughout the winter, a river might look the same from day to day if you drive by it or observe it from a distance. It often seems the same even when I look out the windows of our home. But if you get up close, there is so much to see! Here are some images I captured last winter of icy patterns along the shoreline.

One morning last winter, it looked like nothing special was happening on the river; however, I went to sit on the bank anyway, and the timing was perfect. I heard a loud, rustling roar coming down the river, and then all the tiny ice plates along the shoreline (see photo, below) began moving and shifting along with an ice formation traveling downriver. It was an incredible ice show!

That was the day I began to think of the rhythm of the river as an artist.

In my next post, I will explore some extraordinary artistic possibilities that arise from the interplay between human creativity and the flow of energy in the natural world.

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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