Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shadow Lake, geological borders

Shadow Lake
In the heart of the Northeast Kingdom, this little lake sits in perfect contrast to the mountains of Vermont and beyond to New Hampshire. I was born on this road. My father lives here now and has his studio on Shadow Lake Road.

People often wonder how Vermont can be so different from New Hampshire. Just like Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland-- they are side by side, but so different from one another in character. The Green Mountains and the White Mountains are two distinct and different geological ages. Ireland too is divided by a massive geological fault line and it falls just where the North/ South border lies. The Connecticut River is a lovely blue dividing line between Vermont and New Hampshire. Do people determine where a border will fall? Are they unconsciously responding to earth energy and far more ancient history when they sit down to draw a border?

Painting and drawing landscape opens fields of research into geology, meteorology and
social history. Reading and understanding a landscape means looking for signs and interpreting them, putting a story back together. The last ice age was only 11,000 years ago and its marks can still be seen in Vermont.


Clair said...

Mariella -
One of the most exciting and mind-bending books I ever read was The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins. He was an English amateur historian, photographer, etc. And traced what he thought were the old paths that people traveled, (I mean ancient, as in Stone Henge building time) and of course they traveled in straight lines whenever possible as it was the shortest distance. The photographs in that book (circa 1910) are all hauntingly beautiful and incredibly peaceful.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

How wonderful - an artist who knows about geology!

I've done research on the question of natural and political boundaries and the only ones with real meaning in people's lives are the natural ones for the most part.

After all - awful things will happen to you if you cross that river! ;)

If those choosing political boundaries have been sensible and recognised the deep attachment to natural bounadries and associated the two together then these political bounadries also seem to become imbued with a force which they would not otherwise have.

In the UK, decades after changes in boundaries, people still choose to locate themselves according to the placename as was not the placename as now is.