The Figure on the Hill
By Jeffrey Harrison
When I saw the figure on the crown of the hill,
high above the city, standing perfectly still
against a sky so saturated with the late-
afternoon, late-summer Pacific light
that granules of it seemed to have come out
of solution, like a fine precipitate
of crystals hanging in the brightened air,
I thought whoever it was standing up there
must be experiencing some heightened state
of being, or thinking-or its opposite,
thoughtlessly enraptured by the view.
Or maybe, looking again, it was a statue
of Jesus or a saint, placed there to bestow
a ceaseless blessing on the city below.
Only after a good five minutes did I see
that the figure was actually a tree-
some kind of cypress, probably, or cedar.
I was both amused and let down by my error.
Not only had I made the tree a person,
but I'd also given it a vision,
which seemed to linger in the light-charged air
around the tree's green flame, then disappear.
On Sunday we picked up Adam from my mother's house, where he went for lunch after working with her at Hebrew school, and went on the Countryside Artisans' winter tour. We started at Art of Fire, which in addition to glassblowing had several other artisans displaying jewelry, beads, pottery, prints, and cards. Then we went to A Paca Fun Farm, which strictly speaking is not on the tour but has more than 100 adorable alpacas and sells both their fiber and items made from it. Dancing Leaf Farm and Sugarloaf Studio are next door to each other within view of the mountain, with wool, jewelry, crafts, and fine art, and we finished up at Tiewyan, another collective of artisans selling crafts and jewelry while their sheep munched outside in the drizzly sunset.
In addition to vases, witch balls, pitchers, glasses, and many whimsical items, Art of Fire was hosting several other artisans...
...including Dancing Pig Pottery, whose stall at the Maryland Renaissance Festival is near the glassblowing and who sells pagan, green man, and pirate-themed things.
The chickens at Dancing Leaf Farm were running around in the main yard...
...and there was lots of gorgeous wool inside, though I bought jewelry there instead.
You can see Dancing Leaf Farm's sheep out the window of Sugarloaf Studio, home of artist Susan Due Pearcy.
The work of several fiber and jewelry artists was on display at Tiewyan Textiles...
...another farm which has sheep to provide wool, and cows as well.
We got home in time to watch the Ravens blow their game against the Steelers when they could have clinched a playoff spot with a victory, waah. After dinner, we watched Once Upon a Time, which is going on hiatus for a month so of course they left everything hanging (and is it just me or has Henry gone from being a rather sweet kid to being not only the bossiest, most annoying character on the show but one of the most annoying zealot-like characters anywhere on television?). Now we are watching Dallas trounce the Eagles, which I care about only because if the Eagles had a decent backup quarterback they might give him the starting job over Vick -- it's not likely to affect the Redskins, who have made their own bed this season despite RGIII!