Absence And Light: Meditations From The Klamath Marshes by John R. Campbell

By John R. Campbell

A set of forty four prose meditations encouraged through the transitory and bird-rich atmosphere of the Klamath marshes at the Oregon/California border. "In order to just accept the large accountability that comes of being on the earth, we needs to first conceive, inspite of the entire stumbling blocks, the nation of truly being the world." it truly is accordingly that John R. Campbell got here to the Klamath marshes, a wetland in southern Oregon shaped by way of 3 old, shallow lakes, an unlimited vacancy that's satirically domestic to an awesome range of lifestyles, of untold hundreds of thousands of birds either migratory and resident, of all of the interconnected existence kinds that make up considered one of North America's richest normal environments. Absence and light-weight is Campbell's account of his exploration of the marshes and a meditation at the international he chanced on there, on his transforming into realizing of the actual, emotional, ethical, and aesthetic which means of that international, on his personal progress as a guy. via Campbell's eyes, we become aware of the stirring and brilliant great thing about the marshes and their creatures, and the utter poignancy in their fragility earlier than the heedless pursuits of humankind. this can be nature writing at its so much profound and relocating, writing that during interpreting and defining the area of nature is helping us to appreciate the very advanced and contradictory realities of being human. Campbell's luminous descriptions and mystical insights will lengthy linger within the reader's reminiscence.

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Example text

A b s e n c es But by then his borderline realm was not between sobriety and intoxication; it was instead a pastel mist between life and death. Borderlines draw us on. As Barry Lopez says, “The edges of any landscape—horizons, the lip of a valley, the bend of a river around a canyon wall—quicken an observer’s expectations. ” Perhaps, in the case of my father, the twilit places were best attained in intoxication. But out here in the real marshes, the death that life and all liminality require will not be denied.

I am moved, at this moment, by the casual drift of the cottony seeds, the blend of purpose and serendipity, like a waltz. And like any dance, my movement with the event is framed in time: I am constantly removed from the cottonwood, my experience dispersing like the fuzz-coated seeds. ). There’s an artful quality to my removal, an intensity. ” Again, there’s repetition, but each repetition transforms the event into something else, something once (again) removed. I have description: a woody barrel of water, four or šve feet in diameter, one hundred feet tall.

Hundreds of bald eagles, thousands of tundra swans and snow geese, hawks, short-eared owls, blackbirds, pelicans, ducks of every kind: my mind is swirling with their stout silhouettes, with their rounded heads and scapulars sloughing the wind. But the day has tapered to dark wingtips, and my birds are gliding me to sleep. I need a cheap motel, something on the edge of the marshes, outside of town. And so I šnd it, squat below a sage-covered hump. An old-style motel, no frills, no pool, no neon, even, to announce the simple offer of a room.

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