note from editor:

"Everything gets a little 'phantom kangaroo' when night falls." - David Tomaloff 

"earth { +ling" by david tomaloff

When I was younger, my mother told me that the hills are really just the backs of dinosaurs. I would sit in the backseat and imagine that the dinosaurs were sleeping, waiting to rise up, waiting for something to make them rise up. That's the thing with nature and extinct creatures. They're really hard to impress. I think it's because they know secrets that we don't know. The Universe is a beautiful monster. Sometimes nurturing, sometimes a devil. For every one thing I don't know about how the Universe works, I imagine 20 more things that might be true. Like how every light in the night sky is a UFO. That dandelion seeds in the wind are secret love letters, or that birds speak a magic language that I can learn. One of the most beautiful descriptions of nature I've ever read is a passage from White Fang, by Jack London. He says:

Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean towards each other, black and ominous, in the fading light. A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of a laughter more terrible than any sadness - a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.

(I leave you with that, because I can't really top it.)

Claudia Lamar, January 2011