hoagland goes north


June 9 The mountains look dramatic and incisive today. No sun, but a high ceiling, almost windless. I climbed in the Opal Hills, so-called, to the basin under the top ridge. Snow occasionally to my knees in drifts, otherwise gone. Saw some old black bear tracks on the path—hind foot the size of one of my hands. Very still today, woods quite empty, panorama on top, the lake green and white. I’m enjoying being alone, although thinking about New York literary politics, and the Kennedys, of course. Saw the tracks of a coyote and heard a short bark. Rubbed shoulders with some Maligne mosquitoes. Am glad to know I can climb to the places I climbed 16 years ago, when I was 19. My reactions are quieter and smudgier, though, and the park is developing like Yellowstone. If a person has just been married, like me, he kicks himself if his new wife isn’t constantly in the front of his mind, when, as a matter of fact, it wouldn’t be natural for her to be. The symbiosis comes with time. As it is, I think of how pretty Marion was in the three dresses she wore during the weekend of my sister’s wedding.

more from Edward Hoagland in The American Scholar here.