There is a sacred place in Tennessee known as The Narrows. The Harpeth River makes a large loop as it crawls through Cheatam County and comes back to itself for a spell. This narrow strip of land between the river rises high above the surrounding landscape and for thousands of years has been a pilgrimage for many people…including myself. I went up there on a warm spring day to do some art. I chose the scene and then got out my pastels. I was making good progress on it when a young couple with their kids climbed up to where I was painting. When they saw what I was doing they both smiled. “It’s nice to have a hobby!” says the woman cheerfully. Then she frowned slightly and asks, “It is a hobby isn’t it?” She looked to her husband who was gently shaking his head no. “No, mam.” I answered. “I think of it more as a calling.”
2 thoughts on “The Narrows”
back to the narrows (for arthur barnes)
i went back to the narrows today
and there, by the stream
where the dog had found me,
i sat down on the rough
surface of a rock
and, picking up some loose pebbles,
threw them high
into the darkening air,
so that they lifted
in an arc and fell into the water.
ripples spread across the surface
for a few minutes.
the sun began to sink,
painting the water
pink and orange.
the dog settled down next to me
and we waited for the dark.
by ryki zuckerman (from “the nothing that is” [benevolent bird press, 2015])
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Here is a wonderful poem written by my poet friend Ryki Zuckerman. I’m glad she was inspired by my post.