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"The Return" - A Poem for a Painting

March 21, 2019

A mountain man once asked me to paint him some mountains.

"Do you have some favourite ranges you'd like me to reference? Or even a combination of them?" I asked him.

"No, just brand new ones, from your imagination. Ones that don't exist anywhere else."

This was roughly how our conversation went. The result is the piece below.

A little over a year earlier I'd written a poem about being in the wild. Being wild. Painting these mountains reminded me of this poem immediately. The task was daunting and exciting and new, but natural all at the same time, and the piece I created for this mountain man rekindled those same feelings.

Once painted, I printed out a copy of my poem to accompany the piece on delivery, because if it all comes from the same place, it only makes sense to have them together, right?

"Reid's Mountains", 2018

The Return

This world tried to teach me to be clean

to be combed

to be careful

and quiet.

But I will return to the wild.

I’ll allow there to be chaos in my life

I will sing to the stars, and howl at the moon.

I’ll feel the waves crash against me

and let the wind bite my cheek

and I will watch the clouds roll in as they darken my skies.

I will allow the animals to hunt me

and the leaves to sting me

the thorns to cut me

and the rocks to bruise me.

And with each passing day

I will see the skies clearer

I’ll become better at swimming

I’ll stand stronger against the wind

The rain will not chill me.

I will not flinch at the stings and the cuts and they will heal

and I will be nimble on the rocks as I climb higher and higher.

And though this world tried to teach me to be clean

to be combed

to be careful

and quiet,

this wild was made with me in mind.

And I will return.

Angie Marchinkow



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