6-4-06
After driving for hours, from the hot dry coast up in to the high mountains, to a camp in the shadow of a great granite crag, Pedra Forçá, the Stone Fork, we realized at once we had no desire to be there, we feared the high mountains, into which we had driven with so much anticipation, as the wild vegetation grew more and more varied, with dense verges of orchids, the higher we drove, the seasons were passing us in reverse, we hate it, we said to ourselves, alone up here with only ourselves for company, the aloofness of so called solitary hikers, we're the opposite! first thing in the morning we set off back down, throwing up on the winding road, arriving in the evening at Montagut, where we have been before, and seen night jars flying down among the trees below, as the dusk appears to rise up the hill, submerging us, where we sit on the grass terrace, soon after the death in oklahoma of my grand mother, von ceil, passing close to us with their extraordinary flight, like a thought, in Audubon's words, which, on trying to see it again, the eye searches in vain; the bird is gone:

why can't we escape this camp site? each time there is a clear decline in the owner, who can't tear himself away, as is plain from watching him, working head down among the holiday makers, who go so far as to describe this campsite, Montagut, as a gem, run by a dedicated brother and sister team, this single sister who can be seen coming down the stairs into the little office wiping tears from her face, while the brother drinks himself, as they say, to death, in Camping Montagut, which is a a hell for him, judging by his visible decline since we were here with L and S, and S and J -

struggle to find the distances at which to operate, again, as we said four years before at Clashnessie, on the morning after another in a chain of destructive arguments, on the west coast of Scotland, by the flat cold sea -

either so close up you smother, absorbed in the struggle for air: recall, if any, is flawed: having a baby, next door's mother told her, is like shelling peas -

staring at the camera,

or, on the other hand: fine, s/he says, the landscape is pleasing, certain monuments are familiar from my preparatory reading; o! I'm having it s/he thinks -

when the surf runs out, notice how patterns, and the water itself becomes visible where it flows over a small stone or higher stretch of sand, on the beach - our impressions of the flow of the water appear to form and un form around these areas of resistance,

in the famous Flow Sequence of Ansel Adams:

five pictures which he stopped his car to take, while driving along the Pacific Pallisades, happening to look down to the water, he decided then and there to make these pictures, whether he was thinking of a series, as he looked down from the cliffs at the so to speak never ending waves, beating on that coast, briefly broken by the openings of the shutter, with the sea in his ears, we do not know - but all of   sudden the dry murmur of voices makes you long to run down across that wet sand and plunge in! in this hot hallway, holding a sleeping child, on the only chance to see the famous greys of Ansel Adams, which recall, and if I understand, are actually produced by silver, in minutely graded degrees of oxidation, like an old spoon, so that what we are looking at, at the end of the day, is a metal object, formed by beating by a certain light, as it came bounding back off the foaming water there below the cliffs, the famous Pallisades, on that bright morning in California, from the Pacific ocean, where Ansel Adams had pulled his car off the road to rest, before driving on -

but now look at these: by Walker Evans, for the Farm Security Administration, photographs of refugees from the Arkansas floods of 1936, sitting in their iron beds with their few belongings around them,

staring at the camera,

instead of the wilderness, we are in a part of the planet where people can be found, we see watermelon stands, dusty stores selling chicken livers and minnows, the kind I visited on fishing trips with my grandfather Ernest S, he worked in a hardware store himself, before leaving the hills of Arkansas for the relative prosperity of Oklahoma, that flat dry devastated country, my grandfather, Ernest S, now joined, on the edge of Tulsa, by the body of his wife, in that graveyard that stretches as far as the eye can see, he became my protector, a child needs a strong protector, every time they come back from vacation they will be plunged in to the education press, with its impostors, the extractors who press every drop, leaving a husk, pursuing you long in to the night, you're afraid to sleep, any precious thing you conceal, the big boys will have off you, if my grandfather Ernest S was here, I used to think, those thieves would have some fierce cuts coming, how we miss a person, the warm day open before us, now that we have only birds for company -

one night a person is inconsolable, sorrowing sorrowing over lost time - their whole body is shaken by sobs, lasting for hours - the next morning everybody's up early for breakfast -