a little story

"when i reached the bottom, i finally understood what Guthrie meant when he shouted, "LIBERO!" It was a celebration of being alive"
Sharon Creech (Bloomability)

When life is not worth living, there is always Switzerland. There are always cows rattling their swiss bells and alpenhorns being called across the mountains. There are always valleys upon valleys upon waterfalls upon cracks of ice and snow, there will always be this changing morphing landscape which I call home. I was not born here, nor do I own a passport from this country, but there is no other sensation which has given me such a feeling of life, such a sincere view of God's vast knowledge and creation. I want this mountain to be the first thing to see my children, to be shared with all those I have loved, and to be the last thing I see before I close my eyes forever, so that it can be transfered upon my eyelids and stamped upon my soul. There is not a lesson which the mountain does not teach me. I knew it before I met it. It is everything good and plenty, it is the closest I have been to God and it is with my when I am away, inside the pocket of all my dreams.

I can't believe I haven't told this story yet. I've been meaning to write about it, but when my mother scanned and e-mailed me this award I knew it was time.

When I was 12 I saw a pictures in swiss travel book from the local Flagstaff library, the pictures contained the most beautiful, mountains images I had ever seen in my life. I had no idea those photographs would so effect the future of my subconscious. Later that year I picked up Bloomability by Sharon Creech (I had read just about all of hers) and fell immediately in love with the bright and fresh, but impressionably unstable, Dinnie. In this story...she gets sent to a boarding school in Switzerland where she learns to fall in love with life again. The entire pre-teen novel is intimately written, and evokes a love for international culture, character, and taking life as it comes as you. At the age of 12 I had already attended 6 schools and lived in several different states. I felt like my life was just as upturned as Dinnie's (little did I know that in the future it would only continue, living in Alaska, Costa Rica, Washington, Virginia, New York, London, Switzerland, Arizona, attending 4 colleges before graduation...). It became my life dream to someday visit this Alpine place that had placed itself inside my soul.

At the age of 16 I was searching for study abroad opportunities. I was at my wit's end trying to find the right host family, or program to adhere myself to. At the end of a very long week I remember slumping myself down in front of the computer and turning to my left. There was a slightly tattered book from 4 years prior, Bloomability. I tiredly flipped through it and turned to the last page...The American School in Switzerland... I had no idea that Dinnie's fictional story actually took place in a real school, that was still existing, that Sharon Creech used to teach at! I was beyond myself in happiness, applied right away and received a scholarship to attend for fall semester.

During that semester I began my exploration of photography, met some of my very best friends from around the entire world, hiked glaciers, climbed parts of the alps, found Gimmelwald, and in many ways, became who I am today. It was a time of independence and dreams coming true that meant very much to me in what I was experiencing in my life at that young age.

It may sound corny, but it is one of the many favorite stories in my life, and I wanted to share it with you. I consider myself well blessed to have had my inspirations be so indulged at a young age.

Sharon, I simply cannot tell you how much your story in Bloomability inspired me, and what a large role it has to play within my own life. I have visited and lived in Switzerland several times since, at ages 14, 16, and 20. I hope to return soon, and I hope that my artwork can one day inspire someone to go out and live their dreams like your writing inspired me. I've been nervous to write about this since it means so much to me, since I think there are simply certain things that you can't squish into words.

thanks for listening.

There is nothing which called me more than the Swiss mountains. Nothing more beautiful-more splendid, more idyllic, nothing which holds more grandeur than these!!

And I thought, you must be able to absorb such beauty into who you are and I thought that I could be a more beautiful person by taking them in. Here are some scenes of what I remember:

The Swiss blue hue, their pristine-ness, their jagged, but friendly cliffs. Their expansive ranges, their close up view-their fog, valleys, snow-capped, or bald peaks. Their simple yet complex beauty. The stories they tell you. Their rivers, waterfalls, glaciers, their Swiss cows dangling their chorus bells. The time they soak up in your eyes.

Andermats lime green.

Their inspiration for life.

In the Alps, I see a language of unrealistic enlightenment in thousands of peaks going and going and going and never ending and through to the future

In a moment of white silence in Gimmelwald, they mix power with calm.

Their seal trunks and fresh air and most soil and fall colors and green pastures and changing paths that lead up and up and up to lilacs and homes to caterpillars.

Their drooping evergreens, and springs of clean water.

Here is where everything beautiful is: the potential beauty.

The hidden and unbelievable, the quite and perfect

they teach the feeling of good. J

1 comment:

Sharon Creech said...

This is 'such the best'! Viva!

I am touched.