Sunken Treasures….

all in flower I left most of my summer photos
in the New River
My camera slipped from my hands
in early July
and plopped down
into swift currents
where it helplessly
bumbled along the rocky bottom,
flopping like a gasping fish.Time of death: 12:14 p.m.
I drowned the only camera
I’ve ever really loved.
And with it,
all the images I’d collected
like seashells and stones
since May.

As I bobbed along in my inner-tube cradling it’s lifeless form in my lap
it became hard to really see the river and sky.
Looking again came slowly.
I couldn’t replace the camera for several months
so I recorded scenes and memories
by writing them down instead of clicking.

(I’m a lot less fond of my new camera;
we’re taking to each other slowly.)

Here are a few of my favorite “shots” from summer
as I say fairfarren to the season:

~My sister’s face inside a cloudburst of seafoam confetti, nose squeezed into a
sunburned crinkle and smile lines bursting like the fourth of July
from behind her sunglasses
as we zoomed alongside one another on boogie boards,
rocketing toward the beach.
(first AWESOME ride of the day and we caught it. Together.)

~giant sidewalk chalk birthday card all pink and yellowy with love.

~Libby and Lucy (the wonderdogs) bounding into the surf
(rain had sent other beach-goers scurrying for cover)
and running like wild horses up and down the beach.
My heart joined them step for step.

~the aliveness shining on my son’s face after jumping off a waterfall
that had intimidated him….and the four year old in his voice as this manly guy
described his joy as he plunged from the ridge and dropped into the roar.

~A piece of sky near my neighborhood. I’ve had a crush on it for seven years this month.
It’s just the tallest sky.

~The sound of wonder in the low voices of my youngest son and his cousin
as their bodies leaned intently over the side of their canoe,
paddling hard to discover what mysterious pond creature had slapped the water. Hard.
Scaring them deliciously curious.

~the rowdy ruckus that has been my home as the boys of summer live out their colorful
lives like spatterpaint….raw, messy and beautiful.

~the stillness of a cornfield on my favorite backroad, N.C. Highway 49…driving alongside
with my windows down, I could almost hear the kernels turning sweet on the cobs.

~The quivery yet brave smile in her wide, sparkling eyes as my daughter
chose to follow the spot on center of her heart again and again.

~The sudden rush of unexpected splatter as my husband veered into range
of the night sprinklers in the park as we were driving home sweaty,
laughing in the spray.



  1. rachel awes on September 5, 2010 at 1:24 am

    i love your all in painting,
    & ache w/you about your lost stones & seashells,
    & rejoice with you about your found words,
    which i have a crush on.
    thank you for your description of the
    rowdy ruckus boy summer. mine had that too & i wasn't always as accepting, but thankfully you put words here that put it into blessed perspective.
    hearing the kernels turning sweet on the cobs/come on! YES! what could be more beautiful??! (maybe it will be the NEXT thing you say). 🙂
    dear one, i too can hear you turning sweet
    as i pass with my windows down as well.
    lol. xox

  2. Marilyn on September 5, 2010 at 1:26 am

    I am so sorry about your camera, I can't imagine how dreadful that must have been and to think that you have lost so many photos of your summer …BUT I have thoroughly enjoyed your written snapshots of that time. Your words are just wonderful and I wonder/think that maybe I got more from them, from the magic of your words, than I might have from photos? Thank you for colouring my day with your words.

  3. Hindsfeet on September 5, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Oh Jennifer…..I am sorry for the loss, but have to give you props on your ability to create word pictures which convey and evoke at least as much emotion as their visual counterparts would have…..glad these sweet meaningful memories are etched so beautifully on your heart : )

    Left a little note back atcha on my site as well : )

    hugs and love,

  4. Just Be Real on September 5, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Oh dear Jen sorry for the camera. You are such an inspiration dear one. I finally took notice of your saying above your blog: "I'm an every woman swept into an extraordinary journey as I dream of growing young. I want to grow up to be childlike, to lose the tyranny of the appropriate and become beautifully wild…. Janis Joplin wild."

    I love the comparing to Janis Joplin. Yes what a wild woman. She was a free spirit. Blessings to you Jen.

  5. LindyLouMac on September 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Such beautiful words, sorry about the camera though, I bet you were devastated.

  6. Mary on September 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Jennifer you paint with your words!!!
    We get the emotion that a photo or a painting would show from reading you.

    And I know you and your new camera will become good friends! 🙂

    Blessings and hugs!!

  7. PaperPumpkin on September 5, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    You paint with words. This is so poetic and beautiful and happy. (I am sorry for your camera, though. How sad…)

  8. Sharron Leaf on September 5, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I am also sorry for your camera, but as we all say, your words paint us a much more vivid picture than any ol' Canon, or Kodak, or…get the picture??

  9. Liana Yarckin on September 5, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    oh, i am sorry about your camera and your pictures. you have lovely memories of them.

  10. maribeth on September 6, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Tempted to say this is my favorite of your blog posts yet…but there is really no way to qualify such beauty.

  11. Bren on September 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    art in words, beautifully delivered. One of the few who can create pictures with both camera and the pen. Wonderful, loved reading it, loved entering your world with you.

  12. Relyn on September 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I am so, so sorry about your camera. So sorry.

    But, I do love your unphotographables.

  13. Nancy on September 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    You are gifted with both words and camera so which ever we get is surely a treat and to have both is truly a gift from above….

    I am sorry about your camera but unlik some you still had your words….

    Hugs girlfriend……

  14. DragonflyGirl on September 6, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I'm sorry you lost a faithful friend – but I think your followers got the better end of the deal: beautiful, heart-wrenching, soul-drenching pictures you've made!
    Love, love, love! (you and your words, but you especially) 😉

  15. Francois on September 7, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    My overactive imagination paints beautiful scenes from your word descriptions.

  16. dulcy on September 8, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Oh dear… poor drowned camera. But your descriptive words were just such a pleasure (as usual, Jennifer) to read. I read every bit of your blog posts, and am always moved and delighted with all you write.

  17. Dancing Brush by Cheri on September 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    A dreadful circumstance for all visual artists, but you have blessed us all with such visual words. You captured some descriptions that we might have missed otherwise. Our perspective has been enlarged. Thanks for such a wonderful post.

  18. LeeAnn on September 8, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Are you sure you are not a song writer? I saw your photos so vividly in my mind as I read your beautiful words. How do you do that Jennifer? Honestly, I even felt the water splash me as you described all of the scenes. I've heard that corn pop too when riding along the cornfields with the window down.

    I'm so sorry about your camera, but I've been so blessed with using even more of my own senses as I listened to your ever-flowing picture words. You know, a good teacher does that too. Captures your feelings and senses in words! Okay, so you are a teacher, a song-writer,a writer, a poet, an artist, a gardener, etc… as the list goes on and on!!! My goodness girlfriend, you are SUPER GIRL GIFTED. Can I come over and be one of your characters in your water play? How about swinging on a rope where we can drop in the water and giggle?

  19. Farmgirl Paints on September 9, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Oh that's too bad. I would feel like a death had happened. Love your fresh take on life and that you wrote your memories instead. Way to improvise:) Your art is beautiful!

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