Another year has twined away, unrolled and dropped across nowhere like a flung banner painted in gibberish. ‘The last act is bloody,’ said Pascal, ‘however brave be all the rest of the play; at the end they throw a little earth upon your head, and it’s all over forever.’ Somewhere, everywhere, there is a gap… […] The gaps are the spirit’s one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself for the first time like a once-blind man unbound. The gaps … are the fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy narrowing fjords splitting the cliffs of mystery.
Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the solid, turn, and unlock — more than a maple — a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you. Annie Dillard
Some years ago, my life was unexpectedly up rooted and I found refuge in the Blue Ridge plateau town of Highlands, North Carolina. Taken by the austere grace and ever-shifting conditions of the atmosphere at an elevation of 4100’, I collected signs of these ephemeral states daily.