This blog is closed. For more recent content, visit Chris Clarke's new site Coyote Crossing.
Creek Running North
December 06, 2005
I lost about ten years' worth of carelessly saved writing, emails whose passages I planned to mine and drafts of articles I'd sent to friends and the like, to a database crash about four years ago.
There were a few things I miss. Letters to Maddy, idle jokes with friends, a poem I liked very much of which I can recall only one fragment, about the South Fork of the North Fork of the Noyo River. A few other things.
I wrote it. And then I wrote it off. Move on with your life!
Last week I found a short Word document that held about two weeks of email from one short period in my life. There was something in that document I had forgotten about, though I'd thought at the time that I should adapt it for use somewhere.
Or I can just put it here.
From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu May 2 08:48:20 1996
Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 08:44:38 -0700 (PDT)
To: [privacy respected]
Hey, good morning.
Some of the heart-weight has dissipated, which I attribute to six hours' sleep. No less full, but lighter. This morning, I loaded guinea pigs into the truck and drove them off with Becky to school. Alone in the truck, I sang at the loudest possible register all the way back home.
The sun was just peeking over the fault scarp of the Oakland hills as I came back, swaying and singing perilously from lane to lane over the bridge.
I like the heights of those hills, insignificant as they may be among the ranges of the West. A mere thousand feet, two, big deal. But on the scale in which we live, in which we sweat up ferny bay forest ridges or carry groceries up sloping streets, they're mountains nonetheless, raised by the lingering, flirting friction of the Pacific and North American Plates.
Astride the east span of the bridge, I sing holes in the traffic and drive through them. I wonder if the plates revel in their interactions. Body grinds against body for millions of years. Mountains erupt out of old seafloor, spend themselves in an ecstacy of erosion, then subside. Rifts form, widen, close, suture, heal. Strata of past injuries come into sunlight for the first time in billions of years, to be dissolved by wind and water. Old rock begets new soil begets new life.
The Quammen essay I was talking about is not, in fact, in Natural Acts. It's in the next book, The Flight of the Iguana, which is hiding, frustratingly, somewhere on my shelves. I'm mentally inventorying a package to drop off at your house. The Quammen, a few native iris from the clump in my front yard that needs dividing, the Klara story, an Austin Lounge Lizards tape, a hug intended then awkwardly given.
I have the hunch today is going to be another scorcher. I think it'll be hot outside, too.
Posted by Chris Clarke at December 6, 2005 11:19 PM
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Singing holes in the traffic, now that's a nice image.Posted by: nina at December 7, 2005 09:08 AM
I'm tearing up about Maddy. I don't like remembering that she's been gone nearly two years. I never caught your blogpost on her death back then, I hadn't caught up with blogs yet. It's a fine tribute to her.
VivPosted by: tigtog at December 7, 2005 06:25 PM