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Tuesday 20 July 2010



File:On the trail to Takakkaw Falls.jpg

(for Arthur Crown)

Looking at this picture I have just lately taken of this waterfall

can't be compared with looking at my earlier picture

of this waterfall

or with being at the waterfall itself,

the philosopher king mused.

At the bottom, you get covered in spray and the rocks are slippery.

It’s wonderful.

Very loud.

Looking at the picture of the waterfall,

you miss all this,

you miss the rushing sound of the water,

you miss the thunderous reverberation of the torrent through the gorge,

you miss the rainbow colours and halos and the diaphanous light,

you miss the delirious sensation of being enveloped in the cascade,

you miss the vertiginous feeling of being tumbled headfirst into the chasm,

you miss the delicious feeling of the foamy backwash upon your body,

you miss the euphoric impression of a water spirit world whooshing and swooshing about you,

though of course if you've actually been there

and experienced all these things

even just the once

you can later summon them up in memory

and while that is not as good as the real thing,

said the philosopher king to himself,

it is something.

File:Rainbow at the base of Takakkaw Falls,  Yoho National  Park.jpg

see: A.J.P Crown: Two Waterfalls at A Bad Guide

Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park, Alaska: photos by Frank Kowalchek, 2009


TC said...

Here is A Bad Guide under the falls.

Sandra.if said...

wonderful Tom...we call those cascades "the veil of the bride" ...:)

TC said...


There is indeed a lacy grace, when you see the falls from a distance.

Fortunate the bride who wears a rainbow.

AJP Crown said...

Oh boy. Thank you Tom. That was exactly what I would like to have said, that second part. I didn't have the words for it and I gave up. It means a lot to me. Can I put it up on my blog too?

Marylinn Kelly said...

It IS something, it is very much something.

TC said...


So glad you enjoyed it. Of course, it's yours to use as you wish.

We just wish we could have been with you under the falls (or for that matter over them).


Yes... sometimes vicarious experiences can be pretty intense. This one got my mind out of the city, which is a joyous thing always.

Julia said...

How beautiful, Tom!
You and Crown have made something really good!

TC said...

Thank you, Julia, it's of course our friend AJP who has made all this fun possible.

For those who wish to see our collaboration, A Bad Guide has now posted it here, with his photos of the original paradisal Norwegian waterfalls visited by the philosopher king.



Thanks (again) for this, beautiful photos (I thought they might be in Yosemite but no, Alaska, where I've never been, so have only these photos as my guide. Crown's account of his approach the falls, and being there, is so good -- and in both, the thing about not being able to hear the falls, feel its raw wet power, in "this picture" (or any such recollection/'sketch') --


grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, song sparrow calling from branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

collection of drawings, that
present enclosed sketch

as what shows itself appears,
unconcealed, in a sense

grey-white of fog against top of ridge,
gull gliding to the right toward point

~otto~ said...

I think I would also try to summon this poem.

Anonymous said...

is the poem supposed to make you feel sad?

now i wish i was there, if only for a good minute or two.

TC said...

I wish I was there (or even I wish I were there)

as what shows itself appears,

also sums up my feelings.

aditya said...

Wonderful thoughts scattered all through the poem as well as the comments.

"the veil of the bride"

Fortunate the bride who wears a rainbow.

you can later summon them up in memory and while that is not as good as the real thing, said the philosopher king to himself,
it is something.

Feels good.