Friday, January 13, 2012

An Exemplary Sentence (2)

This one comes from Robert Hass, from "Consciousness," concerned with the complicated, branching, elusive nature of awareness. It may help to know that the sentence before this one is "My mind went seven places at once." Then there's a space-break, followed by this, which is both a study of awareness and a demonstration of one way thinking moves:

One place was a line of ridge somewhere in a dry Western landscape just after sundown, I saw a pair of coyotes appear suddenly on the ridge edge and come to a loping stop and sniff the air and look down toward a valley in the moonlight, tongues out in a way that looks to us like happiness, though it isn't necessarily; I suppose they were an idea of mammal consciousness come over the event horizon in some pure form, hunter-attention, life-in-the-body attention.

4 comments:

Ruth Z Deming said...

beautiful sentence, mark! i also went to goddard college, but in '64 and '65, then dropped out to sow my wild oats in california. just added you to my immense blog roll. write on!!!

Trilla said...

from a native West Texan. This is it. Captured.

Douglass said...

Hello Mark
I have just started to read Heaven's Coast. And I am contacting you to let you know I am NOT dead as you described in your book. Yes, Jim and I did renovate that Basement/kitchen apartment at 115 Beacon Street.
I continued to live there a while longer after Jim and I broke up. (Jim went on to hook up with another Doug after our breakup) He came to live with me and my partner Don for awhile on Wellington Street in the South End, and then moved on to San Francisco. I would be curious to know where and how is now. Don and I have been together since '77. But shortly after we moved to Hawaii we separated four about 7 years. In that interim I was with a Hawaiian man and went through my own Odyssey of losing a beloved of the soul to AIDS. I consequently touched by your book about the grief of losing Wally. I remember him -- and Bobby and the Roberts family with fondness. Thanks

Mark Doty said...

Oh gosh, Doug, thank you for setting the record straight. I guess such a wave of mortality swept through that building, those blocks, those years, that I assumed it had taken you with it, which I should not have done. Hooray for your continuing! If there's a reprint of the book at some point I'll fix that. I am not in touch with Jim myself; last I heard he was working as a park ranger and living in Lowell or that area. Wally's mom died a few years ago, a dear and loving presence in my life. I get back to Boston every once in a while, but I've lived in NYC since 2011 and it's come to be home. I'm happy that you read my book, and grateful for your response, Mark