August 5th, 2021
Perched atop the rock of Moose Ridge. The sun has vanished; overcome by migratory clouds. The sun has the last laugh—clouds are honored for their beauty only when the sun deigns to kiss their formless being. In all honesty, I am trying too hard to write everything as if I had already thought it over. I haven’t. The sun has set behind a marvelous display of clouds. It rained earlier this afternoon. A flash of a cold front brought wicked winds and twin pairs of lightning bolts. Thunder over the mountain. Those who do not climb do not meet God, or something like it. To my east, the Bitterroots. The creams and peaches begin to fade from the clouds above them. The wind blows, slipping my hair into my face. Oceanic blue to my southwest. What significance is it right to give the Bitterroot Wall, I am unsure. All I am permitted to tell you at this moment, seeing them in shrinking clarity for the first time, is that they are what separates me from the rest of the world. Just beyond Missoula, a short stretch of prairie and then home.
August 7th, 2021
Last sunset atop Moose Ridge. Moments ago: fuchsia pearlescent blues. Now, shadows merge after Gary Snyder. A long bank of velvet clouds to my North. One final burst of combustion Orange before the day fades from memory. This may be the last night I have up here. Such a fact does not weigh heavily on my heart. How many have sat at this very point in all of history? Doubtless not more than a few. The Bitterroots dissipate into obscurity. I think of those that love me. Of the ground underneath; the unmovable mountain. It bids me, “wait! Have patience! You have only to choose your life. It is all before you, frozen until the warmth of your palm grasps it. Anything you desire is within your power. Be kind and you will receive it. Be generous and your gift will come. Be at peace and the world will join you. Above all, treat them well, for their sake and yours.” And with that, I leave you. The season draws nigh. Soon I will be chilled in the cool Minnesota autumn. Soon I will return to life, changed, stronger, and with a gentle smile tugging at the corners of my mouth to accompany me into that great future lying beyond. I will love easier. I will sing louder. I will make amends. The wolves howl—an approval. It is all I need.