Call & Response: “The Deepest Sense”

On the Road to Sheldon Springs: August 13, 2021

Once a month since January, my husband and I have been making the trip four hours north to Sheldon Springs, Vermont for me to take inspiration photographs for the novel I’m working on.

I was pleased with how this latest set turned out, and I filed them away, not thinking too much more about them.

Then, a week later, I read a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon, and—in an instant—he told me what the landscape of these photographs actually means to me:

The palpable stillness is warm and virginal,
this is the very center I have long searched,
a landscape that describes my very being,
penetrates my deepest sense of self-yearning.
from “The Deepest Sense” by Paul Vincent Cannon

I wrote this post as a call-and-response to Paul’s. Please visit his blog, parallax, to read “The Deepest Sense.”

132 thoughts on “Call & Response: “The Deepest Sense”

  1. It’s so special when another writer inspires one in such a way.
    Coincidentally, for some reason earlier this morning, I was thinking of my Ph.D. advisor–just randomly. I haven’t thought of him in years. He’s from Vermont! His family goes back generations there.
    A new novel requiring inspirational trips sounds intriguing! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

        1. I know right where Hardwick is. My husband and I go through it every time we make the trip to Sheldon Springs. I looked up Dr. Davis’s biography–very impressive! Coincidentally, he attended Dartmouth when one of my relatives and her husband were teaching in the Theatre Department there (George and Sarah Emily Schoenhut).

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      1. Thanks for saying that because I’m in the midst of writing about my Journey through the church- disagreements, agreements , con jobs on believers , made up doctrines etc that I have encountered/ fed and I’m questioning / examining them .A lot of research involved , sometimes zero passion to write and other times enjoyable to write
        Sometimes self doubt wondering , is it good enough ? Will anybody read it ? But the joy of writing it and the specter of the work when finished keeps me going
        It tougher than I thought though

        Liked by 3 people

        1. You’re welcome. You’ve taken on a difficult subject to write about as well. I find it easier to think of my first draft as gathering raw materials that I can later mold and shape into something beautiful or useful or meaningful, as the case may be.

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  2. This is beautiful!! Love your photos and the poem! Over 10 years ago we seriously considered moving to Vermont… because of the landscape, the arts and the people. We chose Washington state for many reasons but we both remember fondly our time in Vermont.

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  3. Gorgeous, Liz. The East Coast has those green landscapes that are non-existent here in the west. Yes, we have mountains but there’s something about thick, long-lasting trees that calms the soul. I feel that when I visit my daughter in Maryland.

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  4. I understand enough about you to know you’re taking the extra time it takes to get the description for your novel just right. Good for you for not rushing things. I can’t tell from the photo if that is a railroad trestle bridge, but I suspect it is. I’ve been to all fifty states, but Vermont I shouldn’t even count because I was too young to remember it.

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  5. Liz, for me your photos evoke a sense of nostalgia and longing. I wonder what emotions your novel evokes? And when I read Paul’s poem on his website, I was struck by the difference between his landscape and yours—yet both create the same type of meaning for each of you. Thank you for sharing your literary and imagery connections.

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    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Ranee. I, too, was struck by how different Paul’s landscape is from mine, yet the feeling evoked is the same. Within the past year, I learned about the concept of “saudade” from a Portuguese work colleague. That’s one of the emotions I want to go for in the novel, which will be very difficult to pull off–but I’m going to try anyway!

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      1. I do sometimes , Liz although where I live now is rural and we don’t have to travel far and the landscape is very similar its very green here as its tropical just sometimes the trees are different if that makes sense…but especially when I see photos like yours yes I do miss it and at times like Autumn when the colours change that doesn’t happen here as the temperature is constant much of the time we don’t have the seasons x

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  6. My goodness! Paul’s poem really identifies your search, your feelings when it comes to the beautiful photos in Sheldon Springs, Vermont. I vividly remember my drive through Vermont last summer, one of many. There is something that pulls me in, doesn’t let me forget, and makes me smile deep down inside. I think you understand that. I’m so glad you discovered his poem!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Liz, what a great idea to visit an area on a regular basis for inspiration and the opportunity to take photos. These are beautiful. The poem is sublime and touches me to the core … I have just such a place and haven’t been able to visit there for ever so long. Good luck with your latest book, Liz! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your comments, Annika. I’m so glad you appreciate the photos and Paul’s poem. I originally decided to take the inspiration photos once a month so that I can get the setting descriptions accurate as the time in the novel progresses. (I have a tendancy when I’m writing to describe whatever season is right outside my window, which can cause some continuity problems, needless to say.) I hope you’re able to get back to your special place sometime soon.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Gorgeous scenery, Liz! I immediately see the tranquility and a pastoral lifestyle. You had mentioned a few months ago how you were making these monthly trips. I love your phrase “inspiration photographs.” Paul’s words fill me with a sense of peace, and possibly origin, our Eden.

    Paul moves me with a quote by Thomas Merton. This same sense is found in his words “…merging of the outer as mirrored inwardly…” Possibly ‘the place’ I enter when I meditate. “Palpable stillness is warm and virginal” – profound and moving words.

    Liked by 3 people

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