74 – The Rio Grande North of Questa, Belonging to the Natural World, Here and Now, Life and Death

I go to the cliff edge and stare at the sky, which looks so much like a gigantic canvas that one could believe it was painted.

I breathe in the wind, and when it dies down and the birds stop singing, the silence is such that I can hear the water.
Shockingly beautiful. I walk, the evening falls, the ridges darken and are almost black against the sky, where the light of the sunset catches the clouds, right across from me on the opposite bank. The rivers, at the bottom of the gorges, down there, remain visible for a long time, like faintly phosphorescent ribbons, as does the sage, which carpets the surrounding moors with an increasingly ashy green.

I am overwhelmed by a beauty so poignant it almost brings me to tears, echoing the memory of all the loved ones who passed away in recent years. Could it be that it’s Easter? As night falls on these landscapes, I experience a very strong feeling of belonging to the natural world, thoughts of life and death arise, conjoined in this great twilit solitude, two sides of one coin. This is a commonplace, but I never feel it as much as when I am alone, far from everything, photographing, dreaming, walking, or swimming.

These are moments of great completeness, the two sides of the story, impossible to forget either one. Here, now. Love sometimes, births, our children, and certain moments of grace among friends. These moments of absolute present, with neither residues from the past nor questions about tomorrow, are pure happiness.

Make way for dusk, for this hour so rightly named “between the dog and the wolf” (“entre chien et loup”), as I like to repeat.

Make way for the peace that comes and the images that vanish into the blue shadow of the night: the sky as a succession of gigantic canvases, the luminous ribbon of water, the night, the timid deer. Lastly, the town lights as I pass through.

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