I’ve spent the past few days here in the mountains, where the air is chilly and sweet with pine. I’m here to write–I had my deadline extended, and I’ve one more story to revise. So under blue skies, brisk wind, and surrounded by pine trees and bright golden aspens, I’ve glued my eye to the laptop and set my mind in another time and place.
You’d think I couldn’t do it, surrounded by so much beauty–but there is something simple and focusing here in the mountains. Maybe it’s the absolutely thin air that has me gasping when I go up the stairs, or the lack of noise. The snow has not yet fallen, but you can feel the tension in the weather, the air, the people–things are battening down for winter, which will be here soon. The bears, I’m sure, are preparing for hibernation. Maybe it’s that quiet move towards inward that I find contagious.
Who knows. I’m here. Hopefully going to pound out the last third of this short story and be done. Orhan Pamuk is in Berkeley today, but it looks like I’m going to miss seeing his talk.
I’ll leave you with another picture of the landscape, from the highway: