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April 2013, vol 9, no 1

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Jane Whittle

Winter View

I sit at the window, wrapped in a warm room, looking out at a black and white winter world. Dark hills are revealing old paths and boundaries; windblown snow drifts against walls and into hollows, casting white shadows with feathery edges; trees are a filigree of black branches, twigs etched in white; everything else is grey – a landscape in negative.

I shift my gaze to the glass in the windowpanes. Each frame contains a different view – glimpses of a mysterious forest taking shape between the warmth inside and the cold beyond. Tall tree trunks appear where water drops burst and slide down the glass; between are the shimmering leaves – a network of tiny bubbles, each one with its own shadow.

I look and look at this intricate inner creation which veils the outer one. It proves impossible to draw both. So I relax and simply stare . . . into the merging of two monochrome worlds.

Suddenly the sun comes out. Every drop leaps into light; shadows cut through the view. Then – as if in another universe - bubbles split and flash into brilliant colour.

topaz, emerald, amethyst
shot into a parallel world
by light