What this is
Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as the swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.
– Chief Sealth, 1854
Mi memoria, señor, es como vaciadero de basuras.
-Jorge Luis Borges, “Funes el memorioso”
This is a diary of the landscape of Puget Sound. Whereas there are many works of art and literature that describe the stories of the people who live or have lived here, even the fauna and flora, there are very few that are dedicated solely to the landscape itself, which is, in my estimation, the most dynamic and captivating element of this country’s narrative. Outlandish as it may seem, the stage is one of its own players.
Full disclosure: I am in the midst of writing a novel, and the lion’s share of my daily efforts go into that. However, since this is slated to be my first (I hope) complete novel, I’m trying to thwart the annoying tendency to make it about everything, which is a trend that, save for a few notable exceptions, seems ironically to limit the scope of many first efforts. One cannot possibly hope to include everything in a piece of artwork. Therefore, it’s probably accurate to call this a kind of safety valve. Hopefully it morphs into something greater than that, but I concede that that is for you to judge.