Announces Current Exhibit of
Fine Art Photography
“A Glorious Excess
From the Artist, John Holliger
As the growing season diminishes, nature creates a vivid palette of colors. Billions of buckeyes and silver milkweed cover the land, extravagant beauty of hope with such a flourishing of seeds preparing to rest in winter and then… spring. Autumn, the season of hope.
I live a wandering life, walking before the sun appears, sauntering the paths of deer, the forgotten roads that have no name and do not appear on any map.
In those places I am stopped in my tracks by a stand of trees, dancing streams, and the tiny fingers beginning to uncurl on the new fern of spring.
In the soft light of dawn, mist and dew touch the sacred.
Sunbear Studio Represents
70 Welshire Court Delaware, Ohio 43015
Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 – 5:00
22 West Main Street
Westerville, Ohio 614-259-3688
The Fish House
No sign out front
Where my Dad and I stopped and
Gazed in wonder during the day.
We came after the pre-dawn chaos of men and boats
Chugging into the darkness,
Of a shallow great lake with more frightening,
Fast-forming storms than any of the other great lakes.
The men drove their boats in that lake,
Fears well hidden
We stood silently, as did the Fish House
Remembering the men and boats
Already on the waters beyond our sight.
The village knew the grey peeling squat building
Flirtatious Hollyhocks beneath small muddy windows
That was the Fish House
And its swaying dock on the river.
Hand hewn timbers
Generations old built to last
For their children’s children.
All that the fathers created with care for their cherished children
Long before dawn
In night’s darkness
Low humming, sputtering diesels
Departed the Fish House
Into the darkness of the River,
Entering the lake beyond the lighthouse
Scattering apart to “their” place on the lake,
As their fathers’ fathers had agreed.
Unrolling their long nets with respectful love
Nets repaired by their fathers’ fathers,
and stories of joy and loss
The schools of fish in those years, so abundant,
Hard to imagine.
The men of old could haul in their nets
Quickly filled with fish.
When the village was closing, going home,
The boats were returning
Smoking diesels rolled a deep wake
To the Fish House.
Now everything changed.
No longer a quiet place of head nods
Hand gestured directives
For departing into the dark waters.
On their return
Deep in the water from the weight of the fish
Chaos reigned in the Fish House
as tasks were barked and hollered
Wise-cracks and guffaws
Pelting laughter and raucous back slaps
As if a dam of pent up testosterone
Had broken free. Hearts were full.
This too was the Fish House.
Beautiful pike, pickerel, perch,
white fish and walleye,
scooped up and tossed by the shovel load
others threw loads of ice
as the fish wiggled and flopped.
My Dad and I loved to enter the Fish House at dusk,
A place of well-ordered chaos and joy
From the father’s fathers.
When the village dentist arrived
With his beaming son,
One booming voice
“Hey Doc, got a beaut set aside for just you, Doc.”
My Dad would set aside his life, day or night,
When the phone rang from a fisherman or dock
Worker to pull a tooth.
To the question, “How much Doc?” He shy smiled
And opened the door, meaning, “I glad you called
And I could help you.”
That same Fish House
Now locked up for years
to generations of men in ordered chaos and joy and loss contented
Flying ice and the beauty of fish now live in our hearts.
copyright 2019 John Holliger
Hidden Until Now
Th earth was once a garden with thousand-year-old trees everywhere we looked. The waters were clear, dancing and freely flowing. The earth lived with natural rhythms and balance among all the creatures, long before the humans appeared.
We must have looked very odd to the trees, the creatures, the waters.
Those humans who listened, learned, and lived the ancient natural rhythm of the earth, taking just enough, and giving back to the earth their gratitude and kindness, those humans are now the rare ones, who are invisible and different, just as the remnants of the garden, the ancient trees, and dancing waters continue to flourish, often hidden and unseen, along paths made by deer and moose.
I live a wandering life, waking before the Sun appears, sauntering the paths of deer, the forgotten roads that have no name and do not appear on any map.
In these places I am stopped in my tracks by a glimpse of that garden, a stand of ancient trees, dancing streams, and flora as tiny as the little fingers not yet unfolded on the new fern of spring. seen in the soft light of dawn when dew and mist touch the sacred.
John Holliger ©2019