Between Heaven and Texas Review
By Wyman Meinzer
University of Texas Press adds another amazing book of Wyman Meinzer to its collection. A lovely book, its vivid photographs appeal to anyone who appreciates the beauty of the Texas land.
The book explains:
Between heaven and Texas, there's a sky that goes on forever. On cloudless mornings after a norther has blown through, the sky is such a perfect cobalt blue that you forget the "between" and know that heaven is Texas, or Texas is heaven -- it doesn't really matter which. But most days there are clouds between Texas and heaven -- puffy white clouds that set us dreaming on lazy summer days or roiling storm clouds that unleash lightning, tornadoes, and hail. The sky between heaven and Texas is a stage for drama more often than not, just like the lives we live below it. Perhaps that's why we're always looking up.
Texas Highways photographer Wyman Meinzer (Texas Rivers) revisits the place that inspires his most creative work -- the Texas Sky. His photographs capture the vast dramas that occur between heaven and Texas -- rainstorms that blot out mountain ranges, lightning strikes that dazzle a night-black prairie, trains of clouds that rumble for miles over heat fields, sunsets that lave the whole wide sky in crimson, gold, and pink. Meinzer's striking images reveal that in the sky above, no less than on the land below, endless variety is commonplace in Texas.
Two writers join Meinzer for the book: Sarah Bird and Naomi Shihab Nye. Bird's personal introduction describes growing up as a dedicated cloud-watcher who, after several years among the cotton candy clouds and cool fogs of Japan, was shocked and exhilarated by the limitless hot skies of Texas. Naomi Nye has chosen poems by twenty-six Texas poets, including herself, which explore a spectrum of emotion about the sky above Texas and the weather in our lives beneath it. Together, photographs, memoir, and poems create a lasting connection with the power and presence of what Meinzer calls "that vast frontier and ocean above" -- the sky between heaven and Texas.