|Titus Canyon, Death Valley, CA.|
|The Merced River, Yosemite Valley, in springtime.|
What I choose to think of as a temporary, though somewhat prolonged, state of restricted mobility keeps me sequestered from direct contact with the natural world, the outdoors, anything that isn't indoors (i.e. my apartment). I am not discontent. It is yet another experience of How We Adapt.
I have learned interior fishing, the finding of, I can only hope, wider themes and broader skies within - either as an interpretation of present thoughts or past experiences, possibly a combination of them.
Is there a way to mine the treasure of muscle memory, feet and legs dancing and hiking, and use that as fuel to strengthen what has grown weaker? Do I, do we, possess a molten core from which I can draw the necessary heat to restart a sputtering engine? Might the interior reflect, star for star, the universe without? Are we microcosms? Is it possible that each of us contains infinite reaches, gathered snugly inside this human form, a duffel bag cinched tight around a miniature version of everything?
Temptation to let the vicarious replace the actual is strong, alluring even. A friend's recent travels to the Amazon, Peru, the Galapagos Islands carried me like a stowaway in her tote bag. With time to reflect, I could separate excitement for her adventure from a wish to have it as my own. I roam the Machu Picchu terraces of the mind, just as I search the Greenland coast for whales with Barry Lopez's 1823 crews. From childhood I retain California places visited and revisited as my father cataloged the state for magazine articles and his own illumination. Experiences of sea and wind, trees, rushing waters, narrow desert canyons and the land above timberline let me know we devour, digest, our lives, absorb what we've seen and known, whether or not our minds remember it, or remember it accurately. The accuracy seems less important than the distillation. We transform raw material into the stories we need to retain, translating for ourselves in our own tongues what we are driven to preserve.