01 July, 2009

subtle slopes

From today's hike in Elk Meadows park. The air is thin and quiet here; it only barely grazes your skin. It was a lovely afternoon. No day could possibly be otherwise when you spend it outdoors in a place that looks like this.

As I was driving here today with David and Dan, I realized that I feel like a different person here. And I wondered if this slight shift in personality would follow me back home, back to the familiar scenes and faces and schedules. I'm not sure how to describe it. I think it has something to do with the abatement of fear. I feel open to unseen possibilities, chances to meet people and say things I would not ordinarily say. David said to me, in the car on the drive back, "You seem very active, like you always want to go and do things, and that's nice." This is not at all the way someone would have described me a few months ago, I think. Maybe it's just the subtle slopes of growing up.

And then there is God. God, who seems to be simultaneously silent and provident. Lately, I tend to think he's been catlike and aloof, but then grace and mercy appear when I least expect them.

"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah..."

Last night, I went to watch the documentary "Food Inc." with Claire. Even though it was the visual representation of Michael Pollan's books, it was still a life-changing experience--and I say that plainly and truthfully. I can't think about food the same way anymore. What I loved about the film is that it wasn't just about what agribusiness is doing to our health (although it's doing a considerable lot), but about how America's destructive food culture is affecting public policy, immigration, science, the environment and general societal relationships. It was fascinating. You should all go see it, if only to see the veil lifted from industrial agriculture. And I also loved it to actually see and hear the energetic, pure back-to-nature-polyculture farm evangelical Joel Salatin (whom you will remember from "The Omnivore's Dilemma"). Just love him. He knows what's up. I want to be his best friend and work on his gorgeous, almost unbelievably idyllic farm in the Shenandoah Valley.

I finished "Between the Acts" today and it was pretty crazy. The end was like unraveling thread, but purposefully so. I need to sit down and think about what it means. While I am still finishing "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "Lapsing into a Comma" (a gift from one of my coworkers), I have three choices for what to start next: "Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer" (by Novella Carpenter), "Down to Earth: Practical Thoughts for Passionate Gardeners" (by Margot Rochester) or "Middlemarch" (by George Eliot). I have a feeling I'll opt for Carpenter first, and then, evaluating my progress on Pollan and Walsh, start "Middlemarch." The book itself is very daunting to look at, but I know I should read it. The Telegraph (UK) thinks it was the best novel ever written, and my dear Woolf said of it herself, "It is one of the few novels written for grown-up people."


Jonathan is now officially coming to visit at the end of the month and I couldn't be more thrilled. I can't wait to see him. We are planning to see "Much Ado About Nothing," performed by the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder, and do many other wonderful, spontaneous things.

"Like quicksilver sliding, filings magnetized, the distracted united. The tune began; the first note meant a second; the second a third. Then down beneath a force was born in opposition; then another. On different levels they diverged. On different levels ourselves went forward; flower gathering some on the surface; others descending to wrestle with the meaning; but all comprehending; all enlisted. The whole population of the mind's immeasurable profundity came flocking; from the unprotected, the unskinned; and dawn rose; and azure; from chaos and cacophony measure; but not the melody of surface sound alone controlled it; but also the warring battle-plumed warrios straining asunder: To part? No. Compelled from the ends of the horizon; recalled from the edge of appalling crevasses; they crashed; solved; united. And some relaxed their fingers; and others uncrossed their legs." -- Between the Acts

She is the reason, if you haven't already guessed, why I use semicolons so liberally.

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