Cascadia: Land of Fire

Cascadia rises out of the seabeds of the continental plains, where a hot, conductive current rises from deep in the earth and shears and curls around the impenetrable ancient rock of the North American Craton. We call this column of fire Yellowstone.P2040102It is a wave of energy and resistance that creates mountains.

P2050968

They rise from fire and create zones of cold, commonly called snow, in the ocean they made into the dry prairies of the Upper Missouri River. So are rivers born out of mist.

P2050771

So is winter born out of summer air.spill It too pours in rivers over the plains.livingston It reaches out.fog1

Rivers are everywhere in this ripple in the sky. They squeeze the sky onto the dry earth.

P2040160

Just as they are squeezed by rock that is still rising in a massive wave.

P2060603

Not all leave the fire mountains, having molten the sky, or at least not yet. First, they pour through the caldera of the volcano, in a country of fire.

P2060591

The fire here is green, but it burns just the same. These are the great fire pines of the North West. They are born in fire and die in it.P2060570And are born in it again.

P2060274

They live on the caldera wall.wall Look at them lick with flame among the bones of their mothers.P2060583 Look at them drink the molten sky.P2060606 Look at them grow on the ash of old volcanoes.P2060622 The fire is not still. It still drives hot water out of the deep earth: snowmelt and rain and water squeezed out of the beds of ancient seas.P2060527 Here, too, fire pines burst into flame from the soil…

P2060045

…and the water …

P2060488

…grow old in the sky…P2050485

… and return to the fire.

P2060413

It is not a linear wave. It is happening all at once.

P2050346 The fire does not consume.P2050370

 

It is the fire. We who walk here are in the fire.P2060276 It is the water. We who walk here are burning water.P2060145 And it is the sky. We who walk here stop, as the land has stopped, and give ourselves over to new forms.pool Some volcanoes erupt very slowly.P2050790

This is one. In it, water and fire are one.

P2070425

In it, we live, who live in Cascadia.

P2070327

Nature is a foreign word in this fire country. As soon as you see nature, you know you are not here.

 

P2040786

As I was making an image of the pines below …

P2060614

… a woman walking past looked up and said, “I don’t see anything there. Just a whole lot more pines.” She didn’t see this…

P2060588

… or if she did, she didn’t see that this lone aspen is this hot pool…

P2070024

… or these splashes of magma…

P2070413

… or that there are creatures …

P2080007

… who eat this fire …

P2080005

Calling it nature makes it random and wild. Look at it…

P2060626

… it’s not random. Look at it …

P2050641

… it’s not wild. Humans have the capacity to be this energy.

pool2 When they are not this energy …prismatictres

… they invent nature, where, before, the fire rose up…

P2050800 … and rose up higher …P2060145

… and sang.

P2040513

Without poets, we would be living on a dying earth. We would be dying and contemplating turning ourselves in to machines. That is the age that abstract culture has made in its own image. This is the world that humans live in…

P2060042 These differing worlds are equally abstract. They are equally simple.P2070086

But you do have to choose.

P2010093

I have. I hope you can find your way to the earth, too.

5 thoughts on “Cascadia: Land of Fire

  1. Pingback: No More Wild Fires Please | Okanagan Okanogan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s