Blog: My muse took me to my favorite place today

Christine Alfery

Posted on November 09 2020

Blog: My muse took me to my favorite place today


The sun was shining, the temperature rose to 78 degrees which is a heat wave on Lake Superior.  I was too hot with just a sweater on.  Well, I had shoes and pants on also.  We combed the shoreline like we usually do for rocks, me for rocks with stripes, Brad just for interesting, beautiful rocks.  The shore was full of larger rocks today – I found very few treasures, but Brad found a whole slew of interesting ones.  And when we arrived home, I made my own special cairn on my own small rock ledge.  The rocks that had been on the ledge for some time became social merged with other rock treasures I have found over the years. 

Muse 2


What is so magical about Lake Superior?  What creates that special creative energy within me to just be?  I am never sure – but every time I go there it is something new.  This time as I am collecting and looking for rocks and stopping a lot to just take a deep breath and become one with the lake as word popped in my head.  Actually two – infinity was one.  The lake always gives me that forever feeling, the woods too, the same thing.  I think it is because there are not fenced in spaces here and all things are free to be.  The second work was fluidity.  I actually began to imagine being a wave, able to change with the winds, above to change other things around me like the shoreline but actually the more I thought about this word I realized it is how I think about heaven.  

I visualize heaven as a very liquid/fluid state – a third dimension that is always surrounding us but we can’t see or feel.  Imagine being the water and totally enveloping everything, the sky it meets once it reaches a horizon point.  The rocks it surrounds below its surface.  Its fish.  If you were just floating on the surface and just could be one with the water – like the rocks – wow.  I find that thought so beautiful.  Then I think of real life and our current state of affairs and I like many of my friends wonder why it has to be this way.  But then it has for as long as history has been recorded been this way – it is perhaps why heaven is imagined as so – well blissful.

I like those two words – it will be exciting to see what comes of them and how they will inspire me.  

After having a picnic along the shore of the lake the muse took me to another wild spot that I cherish and love.  Saxon Falls.  Imagine my shock to find one of my favorite hiking spots fenced off with no trespassing signs all over.


Muse 3


I asked, who did this, who didn’t respect this sanctuary and took this away from us.  I was not blaming the landowner – he/she was just protecting himself/herself from liability so something someone was irresponsible and now there is a fence in front of a treasured landmark. I remember having the same thoughts when I was hiking in the Redwood National Forest and gigantic pinecones were all around – with signs saying not to go beyond the fence and don’t pick up the pinecones.  There was a young kid hiking with his family in the same area.  He had decided to jump the fence and told his parents in English, he was going to get one of the pinecones to take home.  I instantly said, no hesitation, what makes you think you are so special that you can take one of those pinecones home.  You aren’t and you are not to remove them from the ground.  Can you not read the signs posted everywhere?

That instant reaction – was exactly the same one I had when I saw the padlocked gate and metal fence cutting off the entry to Saxon Falls.  It was really upsetting, and I couldn’t help but reflect on a notion of what’s next Lake Superior?  My heart ached after such a glorious time by the lake. I asked why my muse put me through this.  And as I thought about it more and more my muse was just reminding me of a consistent theme throughout all my work.  Symbols and signs in my work are fences, gates, door, clusters of shapes with a few breaking free.  It is something I fight for in all my work and in everything I do.  Trying to be subtle about it – I am not sure works because look at what our culture has done to a treasured landmark.  Freedom and liability and personal responsibility - two other words that flow through me and are part of me and who I am.  Can you imagine fencing this in?

Muse 4

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