Ramona Falls’ Mist

Ramona’s whisper requites us to ourselves—our fires extinguished, our thirst sated.

That voice, a pact between mountain and moisture, is a quiet call to us

The stumbling pilgrims, forest wanderers, wishful sages who suffer from acute chatter.

Its language—slow—near wordless, near nothing, paints upon the brow reminders…

Of lost talk of the ancient shape of myths, wrapped around delicate, heavy truths,

Source of our combined story.

 

We arrive with city hands, parched

To drink for the first time—again.

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Looking Glass

Little Crater Lake, July 2018

A double blue reflection. The cobalt of the lake with its graveyard of dead trees lying on the bottom. One recent death half-floats in purgatory. And the deep blue of the sky, foregrounded by a living green forest. Both blues framed by ancient volcanic formations. All is alive, even death.

 

More photos here.

Ghost Story For The Wilderness Impaired

Slough Reflection
Timothy Lake July 2018

She’s a ghost. I know that. She brushes her fingers along my shoulders and I will look up to find her playing among the trees, pretending to be the wind. She’ll drop a pinecone or a small branch as a reminder. Then, off she goes to the deeper part of the forest where I can’t follow. She laughs. I can’t hear it, but I know she’s laughing.

This spirit of hers doesn’t frighten me. But there are times when the forest is as still as death. It’s upon these moments, in silent life, when I look behind me on the trail and shudder in my aloneness.

She returns, that’s what ghosts do, with her sound, a rustling, a stirring, a theme she buries deep inside me. Its tune reminds me that I’m also a ghost. At times, this makes me sad, to know I’m as invisible as her, but it’s her way of empowering me, to haunt. I can’t help but to be…a ghost.

I can tell you this one thing. It’s the only thing I really, really know. If you listen, you will also know you’re a ghost. Even when you’re in the middle of nowhere, look up, and see a jet leaving contrails high in the sky, above the wilderness, without making a sound.

 

 

Imprints

Soft Trail

Trails… little lines through forests… embrace connections, gather imprints, from hiking boot, the brave flip flop, the weekend tennis shoe. I’m not alone, but, there’s a separateness I can’t deny.

 My feet…clunky…bony things…bad negotiators of ground, stumbles into sunlight, with trees as easel, hangs portraits.

 Have I ever handled beauty well? My arms seem like slugs. My eyes unreliable. My organs are preconceived plans. I look at my shoes. Such pretty things, such perfect imprints.

 I’ve stomped upon dust, steered around mud. These paths tug upon my pulse, an ache. Even weeds are handsome anarchists. The soles of my shoes have been manufactured especially for this moment.

Yes, you’re on the trail. Somewhere ahead of me, sometimes behind. The way you run lures me. I recognize the shape of your naked foot. I think I’m in love with your lost.

 I drink your coldest water. My teeth throb. I’m wild, if only for a speck of time. I pull off my socks.

 

Last Reaches — Elan Mudrow Photography

Tentacles like arms reach for a last touch of sky. Forest fires burn differently depending on the environment. Some fires lick the bark off of trees but leave them alive to grow new skin. Others, like this one, scorch, leaving a graveyard full of Goliath skeletons. Three Fingered Jack, Pacific Crest Trail, July 2017. Forest […]

via Last Reaches — Elan Mudrow Photography