This abundance of apricots seemed to be not only a task set for me, but my birthright, my fairy-tale inheritance from my mother who had given me almost nothing since my childhood. It was a last harvest, a heap of fruit from a family tree, like the enigmatic gifts of fairy tales.... The apricots were a riddle I had to decipher, a tale whose meaning I had to make over the course of the next twelve months as almost everything went wrong.
- Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby
I am, we each are, the inmost of an endless series of Russian dolls; you who read are now encased within a layer I built for you, or perhaps my stories are now inside you. We live as literally as that inside each other’s thought and work, in this world that is being made all the time, by all of us, out of beliefs and acts, information and materials. Even in the wilderness your ideas of what is beautiful, what matters, and what constitutes pleasure shape your journey there as much as do your shoes and map also made by others.
In the folding up of great distance into small space, the labyrinth resembles two other manmade things: a spool of thread and the words and lines and pages of a book. ... Reading is also traveling, the eyes running along the length of an idea, which can be folded up into the compressed space of a book and unfolded within your imagination and understanding.
Arriving in Iceland in spring, I watched the annual tuning up of the instruments everywhere as the earth woke up from winter. Mats of flattened gray plant stalks metamorphosed into grasses and great mounds of invasive Alaskan lupine smeared whole hillsides violet. Tiny flowers appeared in clumps of greening moss on the stones that paved vast expanses of land. Bumblebees that seemed to have the lower levels of the air all to themselves were joined by tiny butterflies and other insects.
Moths drink the tears of sleeping birds. This is the title of a short scientific report