Mist Rising, Cold Descending. Eagle Cap Wilderness. . .
On the road in the American Northwest.


What's an island but a circle we draw around some part
of the world, a line of difference, of demarcation, separating
that which is in-side, from that which is out.

It all begins, of course, with an actual physical island,
separated by its coastline from the sea. From here, the idea
of island
proceeds to be transformed in thought, easily and
seamlessly, by the miracle of metaphor into the realm of
the more subtle and unseen.

Thus we have "islands of beauty" in an "ocean of ugliness,"
"islands of security" in a "sea of violence," "islands of peace
and tranquility"
in a "non-stop turbulent flood" of useless data
and misinformation.

The width of the circle of these metaphorical isles is entirely
of our own making. We may carry the circle in our own breast;
or it may expand to embrace the entire world, or beyond.

magine for a moment with me a spaceship full of friendly
beings from some unknown outback of the Universe first
coming in sight of Earth. They would almost certainly be
utterly amazed at our planet's beauty, the striking blue of
its seas, the amazing white flowforms of the clouds of its
atmosphere. To them, I'm very sure, it would seem "an
island paradise:"
an extraordinary circle of life in a vast
ocean of orbiting waterless rough rocks. It might do much
to attune our own thinking of Earth's unique place in space
if we were to draw our own metaphorical circle
in much the same way.


Somebody help me here:

How are we to describe natural essentials,

like, good air, good soil, good water,

and well, here we have a little, but serious, problem . . .

good sound?


Along a trail through a high

cottonwood meadow,

horsemint and death camas

grow side by side,

the one healing herb,

the other poison root.

Such is the strangeness of the way things are.

Sure sign of "evil" as a dark

force of nature, out

to do us in?

Quite doubtful . . .

More the ever-present possibility,

as we cross paths with the good,

and the bad,

of not knowing the difference

between them.

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Heather Camp,
Eagle Cap Wilderness

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