Contributed photo

Callicoon resident and artist Evelyne Morisot passed away this month.

Where is the wonder?

NARROWSBURG, NY — Though it seems as if I’ve spent a lifetime asking questions, unlike many of you, I’m not sure that I have become wiser with age.

I’m still seeking answers to age-old queries about life, death and the great unknown, yet I fear that I’ve become jaded and cynical—words I never imagined I’d apply when asked to describe my outlook on life. “Where is the wonder?” Streisand’s old song asks “that I once felt, watching snowflakes melt as a child? Where are the mysteries that I couldn’t solve? What made the world revolve?” Oh, sure, I have my moments. I still marvel at the sheer beauty of the Upper Delaware River region, complete with the surrounding awe-inspiring mountains, lakes and stunning vistas that abound here in the country. While I prefer to think that I never lose sight of what we have, it’s the unseen that continues to fascinate and intrigue, tugging at my psyche, drawing me in and adding to that ever-growing list of unanswered questions.

“I don’t claim to have the answers,” she said. “I’m asking the questions, just like you.”

I’m aware that there are no simple answers, especially when discussing such topics as life after death, Bigfoot and aliens from other worlds. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist. “You’re crazy” a friend recently chided. “There is no Loch Ness monster, no Yeti, no UFOs. Alternate universes,” she scoffed. “Poppycock.” All this in response to my stating that I had planned to attend a lecture and slideshow last week, presented by Narrowsburg’s own healing energy facilitator Brenda Seldin. The press release claimed that Seldin would be sharing “documented proof of [her] first contact with Extraterrestrial Life: The Travelers–Inter-Dimensional visitors to Earth.” Despite my friend’s ridicule, I wasn’t alone taking my seat at the Chi Hive Studio in Narrowsburg. In fact, there were quite a few others, curious like myself, to see examples of Brenda’s “extensive collection of photographic and video documentation of on-going contact with [these] beings.”

“I know that it’s unusual to have a serious discussion about extraterrestrials and UFOs” Seldin said. “But we are in a time of greater awareness of the vastness of the universe. Humanity is preparing to explore the stars and look at creating new home worlds. My experience with the travelers,” she continued, “has shown me that we have friends and allies in them. Working with what I call the ‘healing energies’ has significantly improved the quality of my life and others who have taken part in these energy healings.”

During the presentation, Seldin shared the photos and videos (at left, and available on her website,, all of which raised more questions in my not-yet-closed mind. “Isn’t that a flare on the lens?” I asked, regarding images Seldin said were evidence of contact with other life forms. “Aren’t those just insects zooming past your camera?” Seldin, who offers workshops and animal communication sessions along with her energy-healing workshops and Akashic readings, welcomes questions and doesn’t claim to have the answers. “Yes—and no,” she responded enigmatically. “These images are just the tip of the iceberg. You’re a photographer, Jonathan,” she said. “I’d be happy to have you come out for a full-moon meditation, invite you to take some pictures and draw your own conclusions. “I don’t claim to have the answers,” she said. “I’m asking the questions, just like you.” Fair enough.

Once again, that old song haunted my reverie: “Where is the magic that thrilled me so, watching flowers grow in the spring? Where is the magic that filled the sky? How did robins fly and sing?” In my imagination, artist E. Morisot asked similar questions, as she painted a prolific collection illustrating various interpretations of cows, which she claimed to have a special bond with. “Cows represent a symbol of positive earth,” she once said, after giving me a traditional French double-kiss on the cheek (called la bise). “It’s like a magical consciousness of what Earth is.” Originally from France, Morisot studied at La Grande Chaumiere and L’Academie Julian in Paris. Her work has been shown internationally. More recently, Morisot took up residence in Callicoon, where she exhibited her paintings in galleries throughout the region, sharing her large-scale paintings and joie de vivre with the world at large. So it was with a heavy heart that I learned of her recent passing. Morisot’s family held a celebration of “The Life and Art of Evelyne Morisot” last weekend at the Nutshell Arts Gallery in Lake Huntington, where (what seemed like) the entire arts community came out to show their love and respect for an (IMHO) amazing woman who wasn’t afraid to ask the hard questions. I’d like to think that she was there in spirit, but I don’t have the answers. “Where is the wonder that years conceal, that a child can feel now and then? “ Where is the wonder of long ago- that I’ll never know again?”

“Where is the wonder that years conceal, that a child can feel now and then? “ Where is the wonder of long ago- that I’ll never know again?”

You (and la bise) will be missed.


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