This June has seen some remarkably changeable weather. The sky is constantly shifting as clouds mass over the foothills and empty onto the plains. The sun breaks through with shafts of gleaming light picking out ridges and valley, moving with silent and unbelievable swiftness over the land below. Nothing stays the same for too long and even as Boulder Valley glows an intense emerald green, there is the certainty that the heat of July and August will turn this joyous riot of foliage yellow and brown as summer reaches its height.
It's a great time to be a painter and watch the rapidly changing light and color and try to find ways to capture some of the essence of this movement and its beauty. Yet there is also the sober reminder at its heart that nothing exists forever. There is a Latin phrase, from Vergil's Eclogue IX (thanks Google), Omnia fert aetas, animum quoque, meaning "The ages carry everything away, even memory itself."
I am reminded not just of recent tragedes such as the deaths of Johnny Copp, Micah Dash, and Wade Johnson but of a recent item that surfaced in UKClimbing.com about the demise of some "crucial" holds on a 14a route known as Mecca. The reaction from many was shock and dismay followed by proposals to "restore" the route to its former condition. A curious but understandable response from climbers, to want to hold something in place that once was. There is another great sentence, this time from Leonardo da Vinci, who studied the ways in which erosion shaped the world. Dimmi se mai fu fatta alcuna cosa, which reads, "Tell me if anything was ever finished." In this world nothing is, a thought that inspires both wonder and despair.