Spring in the Alps: Giovanni Segantini

The Sierras are lofty and long. They stretch on and on, ever reaching out their arms. Unlike the Rockies they are thin on the horizon. A sight to behold, yes, but if one blinks they will never see them fully. The Sierras are here in an unblinking view in Segantini’s painting of the Alps, the same view (it almost seems) as from the gas station in unassuming Bridgeport, California. A stop on the road unaware of where it sits. Unaware that it is cradled in a valley deep and wide created by mountains sitting side by side. The gas station has one purpose, like the woman in the painting. Her one reason to be alive. The joy of the mountains, grand in their simplicity, sends a chorus running through her valley, through our valley. Yet she moves forward, resolute, thinking of the work she must do because she is alive. Alive yet heedless of the living panorama around her. Her face is stern and fiercely blinking, refusing to take in the whole vibrant view. The crisp air of the mountains that sharpens the color of the sky and snow rushes through her lungs and she does not stop to look up and offer thanks. “Unless you love your life will flash by.” This she does not remember. This I do not keep before me always. Not when we stop to fill the car to continue enjoying the view and my siblings bicker over who will have the front seat next. I would like to take in the world with unblinking eyes, with eyes that see the wonder in each individual color.

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