Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Love and Landscape

Fifth panel of Colin McCahon (1958) Northland Panels ['a landscape with too few lovers']

Tears on leaving. Not a lover, but a landscape. The childhood landscape. The one which was loved too little then. Resenting its insularity, its rurality, its lack of all that was in Other Places, let alone Overseas. Not the landscape of hill, cloud, scarred paddock, not McCahon's Northland, but the epigraph is still apt. Instead it is mountains, sea, one road in, one road out. On this last visit the landscape sulked, the mountains hid behind the curtains of cloud. The sea glowered and slopped about, uncooperative. However much amends might have be sought, for the lack of loving, an audience was not even granted. Can one betray a landscape? Will a landscape forgive?


Roxana said...

these questions will haunt me.
and what an incredible title, "a landscape with too few lovers".

"Therefore, since round about
Are heaped the summits of Time
And the most loved live near, growing faint
On mountains most separate,
Give us innocent water,
O pinions give us, with minds most faithful
To cross over and to return."


jacky bowring said...

Thanks Roxana ... interesting to juxtapose Hölderlin's vision with the NZ landscape, they are literally a world apart...

arcady said...

I didn't know of Colin McCahon...thanks for making me aware of his amazing work.