“It is getting loved to death,” [Martha Ham] said, noting the need to help tourists and locals connect more deeply to the waterways and landscapes. Time for change is running short. Without a shift, the desert ecosystems will be imperiled along with the industries and communities that have come to rely on them.
“Regardless of where you live in the world, it is crucial to be in touch with the natural limits of your environment,” she said. “People who think of visiting Utah, I hope when they come they see more evidence of us being in touch with our natural limits.”
“It has taken a while for my brain to get used to that novel sense of finitude, though I think the withdrawal is subsiding. Plenty of products offer a more curated, less overwhelming version of the internet, but I think we’ve actually become conditioned to its chaos and grown to expect it. It’ll take more effort to re-train ourselves to finding things without the help of algorithmic feeds and then being satisfied with what we find. We have to quieten that internal internet-pilled voice that says more, more, more, new, new, new every minute.”
The high school newspaper is not the enemy of frightened adults. It is one of the few windows they will ever have into what is actually happening in their own children’s world, perhaps in their own children’s hearts. Isn’t that what a parent is supposed to want?
…If poets travel
from one image to the next, what comes of the ribbons
of roads breathing between letters? There are ways out
of this sequencing broad shoulders flexing commas
young lungs. The crunching of leaves scrape the mind,
deer travel along the concrete. Their chance to exist,
the split second of impact when broken antlers become the page.
The crack on the window unfolds to a map…
It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk
The dew that lay upon the morning grass;
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing. The plants around
Feel the too potent fervors: the tall maize
Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops
Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms.
But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills,
With all their growth of woods, silent and stern,
As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
Were but an element they loved
I felt for some reason that if I went to this exhibit or looked at the book it would give me some idea or way forward for what to do (or not do) with this website, as the process of archiving ephemera (digitally in my case) and cataloging mundanities resonates with me. (If you are for some reason looking at this web site for even a few seconds you will likely have already discovered this about me.)
Halfway through Nevada, Binnie gives us this line: “It’s clear that being responsible has not been a positive force in her life.” It’s describing an idea the protagonist, Maria Griffiths, is just then working out, or maybe taking for a spin.
She’s thinking about all the responsibility she had borne up to that point: a responsibility to hide, to fit in, to cram herself into the identities or check-boxes or cheap clothes that had been assigned to her and declared acceptable. She bore that responsibility to protect herself, but more so to protect those around her, from discomfort, from standing out: “When she was little, she was responsible for protecting everybody else from her own shit about her gender—responsible for making sure her parents didn’t have to have a weird kid.” This is a burden children bear, and especially trans kids.
. . .
[music | oil | trash] filled our rivers
stayed up for the after [party | life | math]
the forests were [protected | sold | ash]
wrote [letters | checks | ads] against corruption
blamed [science | systems | depression] for our cities
when the [oceans | fires | droughts] came
when the [rains | bomb | flu] came
when the [weather | weather | weather] came
we [weathered | welcomed | watered] it
we were [prepared | shocked | responsible]
. . .
“There are no easy ways to live now. But I do think we have to be deliberate about moments of quiet reflection in which we make decisions about what we will do, however modest, in response to so many social and political challenges. And by that I mean what we will do in a sustained fashion—both in terms of what we commit to knowing about by regularly reading and keeping abreast of those topics, and also in terms of what civic actions we will weave into our daily lives. I’m not one to rail against the internet or the television. But I am an advocate of regularly stepping away to concentrate one’s attention. It still feels inadequate, of course. But it is something.”