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My thoughts return to the desert. This time its lowness: even shortish I am often among the tallest things on the landscape. For miles and drier miles. This brings the sky down heavy. It can feel like your crown supports all that uncluttered blue: this presses. A man I talked to once described it as demanding “opening.” To what he was cracking himself is unclear; he was a shifty fellow and I spoke to him once only. But the sky, cloudless and streaked just with the contrails left by jets bombing the test range, pries at you. There’re not many places to get away from it: stands of cottonwoods in creekbeds, and, at times, on slopes, pines. At first this is oppressive. But not indefinitely. And then the horizon’s uniform lack of promise becomes liberating. What is expected is comforting sameness.

Categories: Anecdotes.


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