Apart from Time

Eastern Sierra Nevada

Time moves easily on, but I seem to be slumped in the corner here. I have a desire to move forward and accomplish something; this is the image of me slowly hardening into the amber, caught by the golden sunlight, unaware of my demise. I am sure that a reader might find this image of my personal lithification depressing. Please don’t. I am not so outrageous in most of my life, but a little macabre imagery seems to tickle me right now. Acceptance is a gift of the spirit; it is the movement of life with recognition of its own impermanence. Sometimes it makes me sad, sometimes I look right at it and laugh out loud.

Geology has always been my stabilizing rock, so to speak. It has given me the gift of perspective. In memory, I sit on a summer warmed granite rock, in the California Sierra mountains. This is my favorite type of rock; clean, hard, light colored. It was late in the development of the hot, pressure induced, liquid batholith which it grew from; it had more time to grow those lovely large crystals. Slow cooling of the original melted rock allows larger crystals of grey quartz, and pink or white feldspar, to form in a matrix, these are cut through by dikes (imagine cracks filled with another colored material that forms a discrete and interesting line through the more uniform, larger mass, of rock). Dikes arrive from an even later melt in the batholith with even larger crystals, some with a matrix of small dark, interesting things of a different chemical composition. These huge rocks where I rest, are weathered to the size of cars, buses, and palaces; a world of their own has been smoothed to a polished shine, here and there, by tons of glacier grinding past for thousands of years. I place a hand on its surface and feel my small, and very time limited, nature. Perspective. Lovely.