Point of Impact

fall sky over Taos, NM

Blooming chamisa below high-altitude ice crystals

Those are not summer clouds, alas. About a week ago I called my current wood guy, a rugged sort who lives some thirty miles away, to order up a cord of piñon. This marked something of a surrender for me. I’m in the middle of pretending winter isn’t going to come because we haven’t moved yet, and buying firewood breaks the spell. This is all so ridiculous, isn’t it? But cold is cold, or will be. To think anyone still has to live this way! Oh right, we don’t.

My previous wood guy, one of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever known, a lifelong physical and spiritual explorer, sent me the most remarkable email the other day. In his usual cryptic and mystical way, he seemed to tell me he was dying—though in a way that allowed some plausible denial, should it come to that. But I think I read him right the first time. He’s my age. I’ve never met anyone like him, yet we connected. It was like meeting someone who’s close enough to grab me by the arm yet far enough away to see over the mountain. I don’t really know what’s going on now. It’s not necessary that I do.

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