Monday, June 9, 2014

"He had seen the end of an era, the sunset of the pioneer. He had come upon
it when already its glory was nearly spent. So in the buffalo times a traveller
used to come upon the embers of a hunter's fire on the prairies, after the hunter
was up and gone; the coals would be trampled out, but the ground was warm,
and the flattened grass where he had slept and where his pony had grazed, told
the story.  This was the very end of the road-making West; the men who had put
plains and mountains under the iron harness were old; some were poor, and even
the successful ones were hunting for rest and a brief reprieve from death. It was
already gone, that age; nothing could ever bring it back. The taste and smell and
song of it, the visions those men had seen in the air and followed,—these he had
caught in a kind of afterglow in their own faces,—and this would always be his"
                                         from Lost Lady
                                                     Willa Cather

I have not blogged for awhile, I was caught up in the horse latitudes of winter
combined with the work blase. But towards the end of May we loaded up the dogs
and headed for the cabin, a trip across the plains and into the parkland. This mean
a new look at a favorite Midwestern poet William Stafford and a renewed
commitment to read the prairie writer Willa Cather. Also there will be
some opportunity to take some photos and reconnect with family.

Marsh by Jackfish Lake, Battlefords Saskatchewan

''one could breathe that only on the bright edges of the world,
on the great grass plains or the sage brush desert.
That air would disappear from the whole earth in time, perhaps; but long
after his day. He did not know just when it had become so necessary to him, but
 he had come back to die in exile for the sake of it. Something soft and wild
and free, something that whispered to the ear on the pillow, lightened
the heart, softly, softly picked the lock, slid the bolts, and released the
prisoned spirit of man into the wind, into the blue and gold, into the morning,
into the morning!''

from Death Comes for the Archbishop
Willa Cather

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