Wyoming Road Trip

September 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

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So we asked the woman in the rental car place if she had any ideas on where we should go (though we had our own ideas) and she mentioned a brewery, and when we didn’t seem overly excited about that, told us about another place that serves ice cream. This was our running joke as we drove through one gorgeous landscape after another—round, pointy, bald and forested mountains, huge calving rocks, stands of white birch surrounded by spruce, a glittering lake shore—that if you live here, the beauty gets so blah that soon all you look forward to is beer and ice cream.

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The pictures will give you an idea. But the scent of sage and spruce, the peculiar feeling of being hit over the head with tranquility; the Sonoma County–Russia–New Hampshire quality of the woods turned indisputably Wyoming by the jagged peaks with their red tips and long flanks of boulders; that stoned, breathless daze of 10,000 feet—that you have to visit to understand.

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It was only a four-hour trip. We got out of the car five or six times, climbed a little, ate lunch, walked by the lake. But the moments of happiness in those four hours equals my collected happy moments of the last half-decade. Today, we’re gong to see the laccolith, Devil’s Tower.

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‘For joy’s sake, from my hands,’

For joy’s sake, from my hands,
take some honey and some sun,
as Persephone’s bees told us.

Not to be freed, the unmoored boat.
Not to be heard, fur-booted shadows.
Not to be silenced, life’s dark terrors.

Now we only have kisses,
dry and bristling like bees,
that die when they leave the hive.

Rustling in clear glades of night,
in the dense forests of Taygetos,
time feeds them; honeysuckle; mint.

For joy’s sake take my strange gift,
this simple thread of dead, dried bees,
turned honey in the sun.

Osip Mandelstam

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