Thursday, January 12, 2012

Solitaire for Two - The Backcountry Journal.

I walk through scars, charred and still tender in places although it’s been years — over a decade now — yet the land still is burnt. Wildfires have always frightened me, and now living in a mountain canyon, I’m petrified of them. This land could be my land; these wounds, my wounds. And while fire cauterizes, I know from growing up on a farm and watching myriad animal veterinary procedures: the patient screams... 



Read the rest of this piece at The Backcountry Journal.

14 comments:

  1. It's always scary to witness what a fire can do, as we've all seen on TV. The total unforgiving nature of it reminds me of the bravery that fire fighters from all services display. To any of your subscribers who fight fires for us all, Thank You For Your Service!

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    1. penbayman, I completely agree. During the fire written about in the above piece, I was totally in awe of the fire fighters (most of them volunteer in that area). Many thanks to any of you out there.

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  2. Really liked the description. Timely and creative analogies gave a poetic vibe. In direct contrast an oxymoron is used as the title. The author weaves this skillfully through the story. Brilliant. "Solitaire for Two" is a delight. It shows someone totally in touch with their surroundings and totally in control of their literary craft.We see glimpses of another skill-photography. Two exquisite shots are modestly downplayed.

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    1. Thank you so much, Herringbone. I truly appreciate your thoughts and feedback as I really respect your working of writing and photography as well. Many thanks for the encouragement!

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  3. Besides bears, my other fascination is with forest fires. No, I'm not a pyromaniac...just a run of the mill maniac. I've seen a lot of fires up the canyons over the years and although I don't live there, they scare me. Nice job Erin.

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    1. Bears and fires. We're fascinated alike. :) Thanks as always, Howard!

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  4. Dearest Erin,
    Your latest post has me reaching for one of my Cormac McCarthy novels. Or Nevil Shute's A Town Like Alice. I'm sure you get my drift, old sausage.
    As ever, your thoughtful word play is imaginative and intoxicating. You could, as others have suggested, create a collective work from the sum of your essays. And I'd buy it tout de suite.
    However, for such a talented writer I would suggest a modern classic is within your scope. I know there something within you, and without you, as George said.

    Regards
    Alan

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    1. Ah...I do think a collection will come, in time. And I suppose more of just that shall determine its classic-worthiness. Your kind words as always, are held dear as encouragement. With all heartfelt thanks, e.

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  5. Erin,

    I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the result of fire suppression is the build up of fuels, and an event that could be more than frightening, but usually isn't. But that supported a livelihood for me until injured as a firefighter and for not a day I'd change anything before or since. The Storm King Fire killed a good friend of mine, though I was out of the game by then all of us are close forever. As far as the trout, very pretty picture literally and in prose, as usual.

    Nice, Gregg

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Gregg...and thank you also for your firefighting service. Also, my sympathies to you on your friend who was killed in the Storm King Fire. Wildfires are beasts, that's for sure.

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  6. Erin,

    That didn't need to happen. Wild weather is always a joker on the fireline, but a dispatcher in Grand Junction failed to notify the people on the ground of an approaching cold front with its intense winds that changed direction as well. And he was told to tell them. Almost 1/2 the Prineville Oregon Hotshots lost their lives as well, in addition to those I haven't mentioned. I'm not beating a dead horse but this is a sore spot with me. We, rather, the forest, needs fire in a regular cycle, but politically when told to put it out we do our best.

    Gregg

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    1. Damn...your 'sore spot' is completely understandable.

      And I agree, Gregg...fires are part of the forests' health and ecosystem's natural cycle. I've heard it posited that lack of fires is a factor in the beetle kill problem. We've encroached on its space...but not just in the mountains...in the prairies and deserts too. There are never easy answers...

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