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  • by Janet St. John

Art & Soul Short #1

Charles Angrand (French, 1854 - 1926) A Clearing, about 1893 - 1896, Conté crayon 36.9 × 26.4 cm (14 1/2 × 10 3/8 in.) Purchased with funds provided by the Disegno Group

Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.

The clearing in the woods is the place to be, where sky, sun, moon anchor, pass, and remind me that days, time, life is still in motion. There is more outside the dark woods’ suffocating, unseen threats, those thumps in the distance and screeching unidentified birds, or wind shaking leaves and branches as it drives its way through. But the forest isn’t all bad. The forest is peace. The woods a sanctuary; a shelter; a place to walk, return to, retreat into, find final rest. A place to die and be cradled, taken back by leaves, back into the soil from which you emerged. I fear the woods and don’t. I fear death and don’t. The clearing, too, has predators, natural elements and forces you must face. When you stand there, you are visible to golden eyes blinking in the leafy distance. When you stand there, you know nothing is protecting you. I can stand in that green and brown or black and white opening. Within the grey of the clearing is a place just to be.

Your turn. Want to let this image or these words inspire you? Feel free to share your writing in the Comments below. Or share a link to your blog or website.

Keep in mind: 1) 350-word max 2) Any genre for your short. 3) No posting of advice or criticism about anyone else's short.

VISUAL ARTISTS are also encouraged to respond/share with photographs, drawings, etc.!

Thanks for joining me here!

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