They really are beautiful, aren’t they? 

The mountains.

Soaring peaks, river cut valleys, tree shaded slopes, peaceful meadows…  They represent the power of the earth as it crashes together and thrusts itself skyward.  They represent the power of water as it cascades down from the snow capped peaks carving through the stone with ease.  They are unblemished, wild, perfect… and a reminder of the world as it used to be.

And they are beautiful.  Majestic.  Captivating.

From a distance.

From a vantage point where you can see the great swaths of land, see the points of upheaval, see the twists and turns in the layout, take it all in and be in awe of its splendor…

But the mountains are a total Monet.

Up close you can see that the meadows are mostly dried grass over muddy broken soil, waiting to catch your foot and send you sprawling into the muck.  Up close you can see that the peaks are just mounds of jagged rocks haphazardly tumbling from their perches, grinding out masses of smaller loose rocks hoping to make you slip.  Up close you can see that the sprawling forests are full of overgrown bushes, dead and dying trees littered about the floor, and those still standing are covered by moss.  Up close you can see the rivers are clogged with debris and it’s either too cold and too swift to enjoy or it’s stagnant, stale, smelly.

By all means, enjoy the mountains.  They are.  Truly.  Beautiful.  But, if you go in for a closer inspection make sure you watch your step because they are a truly beautiful mess.


This bit of silliness brought to you in response to this week’s Prompts for the Promptless provided by Rara:


Wednesday, June 4, 2013

“A total Monet” is an expression used to someone or something that looks good from far away, but up close is a total mess.

  • This expression comes from the movie, Clueless.
  • It refers to the impressionistic styling of Claude Monet

22 thoughts on “details

    • Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it… I wasn’t feeling all that great about it. Should I have done more to develop the disconnect between the distant and close-up views? Should I have approached the whole exercise differently – the drive up to the mountains and how everything looks from those great distances vs. slogging up dirty, hot, dusty trail trying to gain a pass before the heat of the day makes the 40 pounds on your back seem like 80… Sometimes I think I’m in too much of a hurry to hit publish and if I’d just be patient a better idea would come to me.

  1. Beautiful! You made the total mess part sound almost as lovely as the overall image! I’m not even an outdoorsy person, but I want to take a peek at a mountain. 🙂 Lovely words!

    • I do too… Even when I’m there, and hurting and tired, struggling to scramble over the loose rock shelves and the landscape looks more like a desolate wasteland than the majestic beauties we tend to think of them as, I still have a romanticized view of the mountains.

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