For the past ten days, I’ve been counting down to 2014 with my favorite sketches from a residency at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
#1. Glaciers are like bulldozers. When the Wisconsin Ice Sheet stopped advancing and began to melt some 10 to 14,000 years ago, it left behind heaps of rock and soil along the shores of present-day Lake Michigan. Geologists call these heaps moraines; visitors to Sleeping Bear call ‘em names like Pyramid Point and Empire Bluffs. When I made this sketch, I was sitting atop one of those prehistoric ridges, looking back across Platte Bay. Night was nearing and the late October wind wouldn’t quit.
Making stuff that lasts takes time. It’s a slow, reflective process, one of constant revision. Looking back on 2013—and the thousands of years before—I see traces of the creative process, the incremental steps, the period when the grind stopped, the ice thawed, and the rhythms of waves and wind took over. They carved out coves and blew sand high atop the headlands. Sleeping Bear Dunes, “the most beautiful place in America,” was not formed in an instant, nor can it be captured in an instant. Because here’s the real beauty: the sands are still shifting.
Here’s to taking however long it takes in 2014. Happy New Year!