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  • by Janet St. John

Art & Soul Short #17

Kim Manley Ort. Photograph.

Rainbow Scrim

Through color-stitched-sight, I see fields outside the airplane window, farmland stretching toward some indefinite conclusion. Here, a rectangle. There, line-roads. Land crisscrossed with crops and rows, the farmer’s fabric, woven with a little plot of earth. Sky its usual blue, clouds yellowing through my special lens, my way of seeing the abstraction to which all can be reduced: pattern, color, line, shape. If I zoom in, I focus hard on one spot, one thing, sometimes too long to let it go. If I step back, go broad, I am expanded, mind merging with horizon, where land curves away, where sky meets it, or seems to. Pixels. Fractals. Connection. Contrast. Disassembly. It all depends on the seeing. Notice this light, sun past noon, hidden here and there behind clouds. This angle, near summer, sun high in sky. The distance, altitude, above the land, below higher clouds. Landing or taking off, the ways we see keep shifting our insights, judgments, reflections. This, now, my veiled vision. What obscures can offer perspective. Traveling by airplane, I turn and hold my colored silk scarf to look through the window. I want a different take on the world out there.

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