Isle Royale Reflection"… an unexpected storm blew up from the west side of the island. One immense thunderhead, like a mass of gray dough, moved into the blue, and above it, an eerie halo of aquamarine. The noise of it was like a half-dozen jet planes tearing around in circles. I wondered if the cloud might be a swarm of contrails, a sky-sized knot of exhaust. It moved so fast. I could either stay put or try to outrun it, and I chose to run because I’d brought no raingear. But before long, the rain came splashing down, not in sheets, but in gobs that poured and smacked. In minutes I was soaked to the bone; even the chamois shirt was dripping. The trail was a stream, and the lightning, hidden before in the clouds, became visible. I was frightened and elated at the same time. In the midst of it all, I began to laugh wildly, out loud! What a great trick nature plays on human minds. One bolt of lightning and all self-involvement evaporates. The dialogue between weather and a woman needed no words; it was immediate. Such a blessing. When the storm began to dissipate, I took to the trail, back to Dassler. How good it felt to finally lurch into the cabin, throw together a fire, peel off the clammy clothes, and let the wood heat blast my skin."
About the Artist
Ann McCutchan was an Isle Royale Artist-in-Residence from July 2nd to July 21st, 1999. She is an essayist, journalist, memoirist, biographer and librettist. Of her five books, the earliest are a biography of French flute virtuoso Marcel Moyse (1994) and The Muse That Sings: Composers Speak About the Creative Process (1999) -- both important contributions to the literature of music and creativity.
Last updated: February 15, 2020