The thoughts come not only on walks but also in the car passing the length of the river town. To wit: in the sunset all is stripped of content and color, hence quality, and made pure form, black silhouettes against the striping of dusk, smoky blue, smoldering orange, glowing metal, even a thin band of undersea green. Trees bared by winter, grain silos, power lines: nothing resists twilight’s reduction and its empire, not even power stations.
The thoughts come not only in the car but also from the others’ mouths. “If we don’t take care of the Earth, Jesus will be mad at us” intoned the grave youngster as my eyes took to the wasteland yonder, grass and red soil brimming with twenty ounce bottles and blue twine, broken tape measures and forgotten cans. My amusement grew on seeing these, the first of the first fruits, offerings to the lord.
The thoughts come not only from mouths of the plains but at the museums. I found myself for the better part of an afternoon at the Getty, both inside and out. Be it considering the branches of a Corot landscape or attempting to climb into a large yellow bloom hanging from some tree or other in the main gardens, I was circling the question of what becomes of the land with and after humanity. But, perhaps at its root, the question was not that of any land but of my land, of the land that was to become mine. Instead, I busied myself with spotting pomegranates rotting in the trees and discussing human sexuality, sprawled there on the lawn, doubtlessly maintained at its short length by horse teeth or some other implement.