Last Light at Pop Creek Pass, Eagle Cap Wilderness
On the road in the Northwest of America. [ click photo for next . . . ]
WEST WIND AT POP CREEK PASS—
a prose poem
Each time I cross a pass, I suddenly remember something I always
seem to be forgetting, forgetting about the energy of insight, about
how similar for me the two experiences are.
This moment of crossing over, the epiphany that fills us as a new
valley and a new horizon appear before us and instantly rush in. This
is the energy, it seems to me, of sudden awareness, of suddenly
discovering a new way of seeing. Where does it come from? What is its
source? It doesn’t seem personal to me, a mere mechanical product of
my own memory. No. Insight seems to be coming to us from someplace
different, from someplace truly intelligent or divine, an ‘inbreathing
of the gods,’ as the ancients used to say. To me, the energy of
insight is just there, ever-present, like the clear sound of fast-flowing
mountain water moving around me everywhere.
A steady west wind roars through the ridge crest firs and pines, blowing
the last few thoughts of the past decisively away, and bringing the
sound of what seems to be a distant ocean near. O view of the known
world . . . I turn to look a last time at the valley whence I’ve come. Just
before I step across into this new world, the flashing white outline of a
nutcracker’s wings catches the last light of day as it shoots straight up,
sheering the strong winds like surf, and vanishing almost as quickly
out of my field of sight. And all this as if to say, “Ah, you poor people
people. Will you ever learn to fly, learn to fly free of the fetters of fear,
free of the fear of falling?”
These are the thoughts that fill me, as I take out my headlamp, adjust its
single bright beam, and start finding my way slowly down a steep talus
slope as the darkness of night descends upon me, happy to once more
have been reminded about these things.
SIMPLICITY / COMPLEXITY CYCLE
Where the climax of complexity comes we
can never know for sure, but natural movement
always begins and ends with simplicity.
Draw a circle which is not
surrounded by emptiness;
Speak a word which does not
emerge from and return
to nothing at all.
Eagle Cap Wilderness,