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Friday, January 28, 2011

mind to match my mountains*

Riding up the street the other day took me back to the seventies. The afternoon not-quite-sunset sky was hazy. The mountains, having just days before been multicolored pop out three dimensional gems, were more distant and flat, residing in some other realm of reality, leaving only their monochrome calling card should any of us happen to glance their way, not wanting to leave us completely unattended, landmarkless, unable to find north. That dusty orange light reminded me of the days before the mountains, before they existed. Things were different then, so much smaller, mellower, nothing much going on… air pollution turned that decade into one long rose-tinted dream and made us think we lived in the city when really we were up by the foothills, if only we could have seen them… “The Town and The City”** now instead, and the mountains too, now that Wilson’s spires finally pierced a whole in that sky to let the smoke drain away, so that we can remember to match our minds to our mountains.

* Stone. Men to Match My Mountains. 1956.
** Kerouac. The Town and The City. 1950.

1 comment:

JustinM said...

Funny, I was just looking at the mountains two days ago and thinking Wow, that's strange. I certainly agree with your adjective "monochrome" but the one that sprang to my mind was "lifeless." Not that permanent lifelessness associated with death, but rather a dormancy, a winter hibernation.

I visited Kerouac's grave when I was 19, the first of my road trips.