Morning Trip (78)

“In other days, I understood mountains differently, seeing in them something that abides. Even when approached respectfully (to challenge peaks as mountaineers do is another matter), they appalled me with their “permanence,” with that awful and irrefutable rock-ness that seemed to intensify my sense of my own transience. Perhaps this dread of transience explains our greed for the few gobbets of raw experience in modern life, why violence is libidinous, why lust devours us, why soldiers choose not to forget their days of horror: we cling to such extreme moments, in which we seem to die, yet are reborn. In sexual abandon as in danger we are impelled, however briefly, into that vital present in which we do not stand apart from life, we are life, our being fills us; in ecstasy with another being, loneliness falls away into eternity.
Yet in other days, such union was attainable through simple awe.”
– Peter Matthiessen
Nine-Headed Dragon River

Morning Trip (8)

“I want to lie down in dappled leaf-shade,
In quivering shadows of quivering leaves —

be they oak, be they maple,
be they elm or birch,
I want to rest in the play of shadows
over my reclining form,
The massage of shadows
which consoles me in its way,
Restores for me
with whatever restoration
Flickering shadows of leaves afford–
be they willow or aspen,
be they poplar or beech,
I want to be caressed by shadows
of wavering leaves,
Soothed off to sleep
feeling the gentle breeze,
Looking up at the rustling
sun-drenched crown–
Be it basswood, be it chestnut,
Be it walnut or hickory,
after all is said,
after all is done,
This is the way
I would die.”

–ANTLER