CLIFF CREGO | Above Hidden Lake, East Eagle Valley , South Wallowas

ABOVE HIDDEN LAKE, East Eagle Valley, South Wallowas (VII.4.2008) [ click photo for next . . . ]

Notice the healthy 4th of July snowpack! In an area
that receives almost no rain from June through September,
that snow is 'money in the bank.' All life in these mountains,
from trees to nutctrackers—as do ranchers
further down stream—depends on it.

REGARDING the set of Dickinson compositions I've
brought together below: I very strongly feel that one cannot
understand the rhythms of Dickinson—all the breaks & —'s , etc—
without knowing the rhythms of the Lutheran hymn in common 4/4
time. To my ear, that simple, stable, square-like rhythm, a
measure in which the length of phrase and meaning is identical
with the length of a single communal breath, was not only her
'heart's house,' as they say in German; it was also metaphysically
the very embodiment of all she struggled against, all she
heroically through verse worked to liberate herself from. I
always imagine her composing at her second story bedroom window,
already well into middle age, on Sundays, in her impeccably
white dress—she never left her parent's house—listening to
the Congregation sing just down the road. This was the very
same Congregation that the equally heroic and revolutionary
Transcendentalists, Emerson, Alcott & Thoreau, where radically
deconstructing. Imagine the sound of that singing, the sound
of these extraordinarily beautiful Lutheran hymns, the same
hymns that are the root of all that Bach wrote, but now sung
in the most mean-spirited, bigoted, utterly depraved, Puritan
of ways. What a fight it must have been!

I many times thought Peace had come
When Peace was far away—
As Wrecked Men—deem they sight the Land—
At Centre of the Sea—

And struggle slacker—but to prove
As hopelessly as I—
How many the fictitious Shores—
Before the Harbor be—

For background in the great Bach Cantata literature,
try starting here:

BACH BWV 125, Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, w/
Collegium Vocale Gent Chorale cantata
(1725), text Martin Luther

On the road in the American Northwest.

12 Emily Dickinson Poems
I love & know by heart . . .
| download mp3 12 x Emily Dickinson |

The avian soloist featured at the beginning of
this recording is a consort of Clark's Nutcrackers,
close associates of the Whitebark Pines,
counter-singing at 2600 m., South Wallowas

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All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 2011
(created: VII.25.2009)