100 steps into the delaware river

photographs by Denise Ann Saldutti Egielski
haiku by Edward F. Petersen

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Denise is a renown fine artist and illustrator living in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Her award winning paintings, drawings and woodcuts are on display at several prominent Delaware Valley galleries, museums and shops. Denise has had a long association with book making being the illustrator of 8 since 1980 including The Moon, a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. She is also a recipient of the Sendak Fellowship where she studied with the late Maurice Sendak.

Edward resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He has worked as an advertising executive, a commercial artist, a music teacher, an online magazine creative-director, a website designer and he's the published author of two short stories. He is an aficionado of acoustic guitar, ukulele, tenor banjo, comparative religion, politics, philosophy, poetry and forgiveness. Edward is a regular, if not avid runner and enjoys a pint or two of finely crafted ale.

Both Denise and Edward also volunteer as DJ's at WDVR FM, a small public radio station in Hunterdon County and this is indeed where they met. These two colleagues would run into each other as they respectively biked and jogged along the river on the towpath of the Delaware Canal. They discovered a shared admiration and deep regard for the Delaware River as it everflows here between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Denise always has a camera at the ready on her river jaunts. She established the habit of posting snapshots of the Delaware and its purlieu on her Facebook page. Edward took to responding with an appreciative comment in haiku form. "The rest," as they say, "is history," and the result is this artistic collaboration between friends.

These two painstakingly printed this book themselves and spent long hours lovingly hand binding each one in the Japanese style of Coptic Stitching. They attempted to create a work of art as well as an inspirited volume and endeavored to fashion a treasury to revisit, cherish and keep rather than peruse once and then discard.

Please join Denise and Edward as they meander along the banks of their beloved river. Stop every now and then along the way, remove your shoes and step with them into its sentience. The Delaware's Spirit is at once eternal, yet ever changing. Its currents can inspire a smile or call forth a tear; evoke a bittersweet memory or remind us that Love and Beauty are truly omnipresent if we only pay attention. And in our finest moments - those fleeting Holy Instants when we can approach the river with truly open hands, head and heart - we just might fathom a whisper of the profoundest Wisdom powerful enough indeed to alter the course and stream of our lives.

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