In the dim, underwater light of the museum, trees march across scrolls - willow, pine, swallows
angled in mid-flight. Four hundred years ago, itinerant monks, drunk with joy lifted their brushes and mountains
swelled against the sky, clouds gentle as breath swam past. Under the lightning strokes,
the ancient poems sing out, the rivers hum. Outside, the sun hammers concrete walls, headlines shriek
an exchange of gunfire. In the hushed corridors there is time for the brush strokes
to pour out their discourse. Delicate as cobwebs, they ponder a Koan - the sword against which a hair is blown.
On a six-sided panel, rocks take flight, spinning on their axes through this limitless space.
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.