Here, in western Pennsylvania, it is autumn, and the trees are just beginning to turn color. Red, gold, orange. Yes. But no. Color has its own mysteries. I try to describe these colors of nature and find it close to impossible to capture the exquisite gradations and saturations of color along that spectrum of the color wheel. There are some colors for which there are no crayons! Maybe especially in this season when the earth is exploding with color. I think this is something that many writers have, the frustration of capturing color in all its subtlety. Trying to define the indefinable in imagery. Sometimes I almost have it, but then I read, reread, revise, and yet again revise. Eventually, I know I have captured the colors, created an image that feels meaningful to me. It is mine, my experience. But then there’s that nagging issue of how my perception and impact of color in a natural image will strike a reader. Will that image work for them? Will they see it? Will they feel it? Because as a writer, I want to share wonder and beauty, and I will not know if a reader has received that through my imagery. Again, as artists, we continually navigate our way between what is meaningful to us personally and what meaning a reader may find in our writing. Ultimately, what really matters to me is that I have sent an image out into the ether, and it might find a reader who will see and feel meaning in that image, not necessarily my own.
I’m going to share a couple of my favorite autumn poems in separate posts. Of course, I revised these many times. All in an attempt to get a color exactly right, the image as exquisitely perfect as are the trees I love.