Monday, May 29, 2006

Spaces

There is something about living on the prairies that is partly contributing to the writing of my story, not that I have done any actual writing lately. There is a feel of space, a feel of the wind blowing through the severe sunshine that produces the muse of Trapper’s story. Yesterday we were driving around, and later walking through the prairie, and there it was. The hay bales, the beaten barns in the distance, the space between absolutely everything and nothing, really does contribute to this. If feels here like nowhere else I have ever lived. It is wide open and I love that feeling of potential, something the pioneers really worked to their advantage. But it has a lonely cast about it also. Nothing is near. Everything is distant, in the distance. Except the humidity that sticks fast.

What I also noted was the necessity to look close at what there is here. There will be only one flower growing in a field of grass for example. Just one. We were on the Platte River. Literally on it, as it is only a few feet wide now. The braided river as it is known because it is so dried. And there was one flower, a little reddish pink flower. Low to the ground, like it was hoarding supplies. It was. Rain is scarce. It makes do. Even in the middle of a river. The leaves were wiry and almost alpine in glow. Very beautiful. There were little tiny fish in the narrow straits of the braids. Their sparkles lit the water. Watching them dart out from the seaweed into the flow and then back again was hilarious. Spunky little creatures. We missed the cranes by a month or two. We will have to go back next spring to see them.

So much of this is the inspiration for the story, both in content and feel. I hope I can capture that. It has captured me.

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