Corot Painting (1867)—And a Bit of Fanciful Writing to Accompany It


The river, undisturbed by human voice or body, and untouched by empty boat or bird, quietly, and ever so slightly, tugged at the cold sheet of the sky, and all that reflected upon it, as if the river wanted to pull heaven and earth itself on a journey to the sea. 

And so she had to turn her back on it—the river—for it seemed to want her also. Yet she did not want to be tempted to go where the river was going—and where her husband had already gone—and would never return. For she was like the river. She was turned from the river, but she was like it just the same: she too set her face towards the new—a new man—upon whom the mirror of her soul now wished to reflect. She would draw him in upon herself, as the river draws all naked swimmers.

And yet she was turned from the river. And he was turned from her. His back was stooped; his eyes scanning for wild mushrooms. Her face, which was slightly blue with chill in the mid-morning air, waited patiently for his eyes to find her. And as she waited she contemplated: the real wildness lay just behind him.

Across the river the man’s sisters stood on the shore. In the shadows of white bonnets, their lips whispered ugly rumors about her, and wherever their eyes darted you could see the light and easeful world there, dark in reflection.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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1 Response to Corot Painting (1867)—And a Bit of Fanciful Writing to Accompany It

  1. That’s a beautiful painting.
    And your writing matches it well, your flow is incredible.

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