29 January 2010
It could be Sewanee, it could be anywhere - snow-surfaced forest floor, rocks, dirt, trees, saplings standing atop tumbled boulders resting halfway down the slope into the water - it just goes, goes without stopping, and eagles swoop out to scare away the ravens and their individual feathers separate and spread like fingers tilted upwards at their distal edges, and over the water they soar, skim the sea, the fjord, the mountain pass bridged only by wind, the sound of a train, and snowfall in the winter, shadowed only by a midsummer's midnight sun, despite the height, softening the shallow soil and sending birch leaves into a salacious frenzy, steaming, while their neighbors in stout-tufted needlestiff conebearing wisdom grow stunted because of too much light, or not enough. Sometimes, they learn, it is never enough. A view of the fjord, the knowledge of wind and flight, the sun in its fullness and absolute absence - even the water rippling so tangibly below, the air clean enough to count the spouts of spray cresting each swell - is not enough. The suspicion of current coming up from below cannot be traced, tagged, understood. For the boulders resting on the slope, it is prosaic. They watch, they wait, they rest under snow. And though Sisyphus left long ago, they still feel the grooves where he placed his fingers in hope of change.