An Excerpt from Jim
of June 15, 2003
written in the woods a few miles east of Natchez, Mississippi, USA
SEEING THE SKY
Most of the time, of course, in this sky there's just blue emptiness with a few vultures and hawks, and maybe some white cumulus clouds drifting northward. Sunlight from such a sky possesses a special cutting edge, like finely crushed glass. The moon in such a sky seems to converse with herself. All the time, beneath such a sky, you are aware of being a spectator. Sometimes when a very hot, dry, late- afternoon breeze stirs and the sunlight cuts into your skin, though you be rooted in a level field, you feel a certain precariousness, like being a dusty bottle about to tilt from a shelf in an abandoned shack.
Having hourly access to the broad sky changes you if for long you have grown accustomed to a burrowing style of life, burrowing through buildings, into computer screens and books, closing yourself up in imagined personal spaces. Being for long beneath the open sky is an act of decompression. Your psychology shifts from "burrower" to that of "bug on a table."