I was under the weather Monday (I’ve lost most of my voice and, if it didn’t hurt, would have a great time singing “Falling in Love Again” like Marlene Dietrich) and spent a day at home. I thought I would knit all day, but I ended up reading most of (my dad’s copy of) Desert Solitaire again. And then I wondered why I even try to write things myself. (Then I tied it in to my love of Roehtke poems, and then I drank some Sprite.)
I go on. The coulds have disappeared, the sun is still beyond the rim…I walk through light reflected and re-reflected from the walls and floor of the canyon, a radiant golden light that glows on rock and stream, sand and leaf in varied hues of amber, honey, whiskey–the light that never was is here, now, in the storm-sculptured gorge of the Escalante.
…Each time I look up I one of the secretive little side canyons I half expect to see not only the cottonwood tree, rising over its tiny spring–the leafy god, the deser’s liquid eye–but also a rainbow-colored corona of blazing light, pure spirit, pure being, pure disembodied intelligence, about to speak my name.
The last paragraph there made me think of bits and pieces from Roethke:
“I know the back-stream’s joy, and the stone’s eternal pulseless longing;” or what I quoted last week:
“I live in air; the long light is my home; I dare caress the stones”
and I suddenly realized I like Roethke so much because so much of his work reminds me of the desert.