..if a writer needs a dictionary he should not write. He should have
read the dictionary at least three times from beginning to end and
then have loaned it to someone who needs it.
I am not a literary man.... I am a man of science, and I am interested
in that branch of Anthropology which deals with the history of human
Another old one we found mining the hard disk...
Reading the DictionaryThough I had passed the same buildings nearly every day, walked and driven the same streets, they now appeared alien, even threatening, as if some inimical wind had swept away whatever significance I had once attached to shops and intersections, old meeting places, the houses of friends long gone, or worse, unable to be reached. Whatever love I had woven into these scenes was suddenly lost, the town become a cheap tapestry of mistaken memories, unraveling at the edges. I remember standing on a corner that winter day, whatever naive beliefs I'd cradled undermined at last, whatever vague hopes I'd casually entertained finally and completely shattered. The city looked somehow flat, deflated, like a cardboard stage set after the filming's over. Grief hit me like a blow to the stomach, and an aching sadness too exhausted for tears. Yet I was mesmerized by wonder at where I might have been these past five years. Had I really lived in this picture postcard dream-turned-nightmare? Without words to say why, I was invaded by the memory of a place I'd never been, and of a gate repeatedly slamming and swinging open in an empty yard, no longer separating the space it once enclosed from the now abandoned road.
That road was waiting for me when I left the place, first going into the high range 40 miles to the north. For nine months of healing silence, I lived in a a rough frame cabin tilted out over a rocky slope. The Aztec-psilocybin rocks a mile across the valley formed a backdrop to the Buddhist shrine below my south wall window. While the Milky Way burned itself into the winter night, I would fill the shrine bowls and light incense and candles to forces I tried not to imagine. I sat like a mirror sometimes, no flicker, no breath of wind, holding the crystal reflection of flames i