Landscape as a Living Presence. An Inland Sea

In the country I left, I tended the sky, a tangle of grass outside my window. always I woke up new to a morning with roads, the particular shine

of clay, a clean sweep of fields. My room had no roof. Hawks

rode the currents above and I drifted with the land,

turning and unfolding like the ocean. It was vast, yet intimate,

a shelter with doors that kept opening. In the country I left behind

my house was transparent, a clear bowl. I was the water changing shape

or lying motionless so that clouds could swim through me.

Paula Chandoha, a photographer-artist in Cambridge, Mass., often chooses landscapes of enormous sweep and magnitude as subjects for her camera. She has traveled widely, photographing in Kenya, Tanzania, Portugal, Canada, and the American West.

The photographs are from Chandoha's exhibit series, ``Islands and Prairies,'' shown recently at Habitat Institute for the Environment, in Belmont, Mass. The photographer and poet are currently collaborating on a book.

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