viii 19

Notes from a plane

Settlements deep in mountain folds, hours to get to the next crease. The car was not invented for them. Distance is measured not by distance. An act of will, of defiance, to live here. All is effort. Life in two halves; snow and thaw, but always uphill. Visitors feared, questioned. Water to be caught. Streets climbed.

And then the hills subside, now stop abruptly, and the hazy plain plain. Sameness. Ease. Indifference. Populous populace. Water passes. Distance is to cover.

The coast. A binary life: land, water. The magic shimmer of water, daily. The threat of the water, daily. Behave, or the water. Visitors come from afar. Water. Seas to sail.

The finite island. To go and to return. Land to escape. Insignificance. Life as a cloud, floating. The known and the great unknown.

I, of gentle hills.