Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Sky’s the Limit, Part 2
On my way home from an errand downtown, I was absorbing the fall colors when I was suddenly struck through by the desire to see the portion of California’s Sierra Nevada foothills that lay just east of where I was born. I’ve taken many a slow drive through those hills, in every season, borne along by silence, thought, and emotion that seemed part of the rocks and dry grass themselves, under skies brooding, empty, and troubled, and at times defined by a single column of smoke or a hawk soaring with outstretched wings. Feeling as I do — as I still do twenty-two years after leaving the San Joaquin Valley and coming to Oregon — it’s little wonder that, on the rare occasions I’m asked about my influences, I begin with the place of my birth and the area around it, rather than any given writer, friend, or relative. And yet I do feel at home here, at least most of the time — and foolish, and rich, and defiant, and happy, and proud, and lonely perhaps most of all. I feel at home wherever I am, especially alone in a crowd, and I dig my graves as I go.
In the Forum: The Silverado Squatters and an old photo of Robert Louis Stevenson.