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  • Sometimes I find myself wanting to say something, but the words don't form in my mind.

    As if my vocabulary tank has emptied, leaving only a few well-used simplicities as sludge on the bottom.

    It takes effort to stir even those up, glued as they are to the grime.

    It's at times like these that I take myself out. Literally out.

    To one of the many beautiful areas around the Great Rivers (the Illinois, the Missouri and the Mississippi).

    I drive or walk onto the floodplain and find a spot to sit and contemplate and sometimes photograph.

    I spend a long time doing this.

    I take in what I see and I let it fill my mind. There is always beauty to be found.

    I let the image swell. It grows and grows. It's wordless. Yet in being so and in the contemplation of it being so, I feel my creativity, my ability to express, become full and free again.

    Nature has always worked this miracle for me.
  • Photograph - a tree and barn on the American Bottoms floodplain, Illinois. A black and white film picture taken earlier this year with the Rolleiflex camera my father handed down to me last year.

    Thank you, Mary Stebbins Tait, for the inspiration for today's story
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