chase scenes serial #19

composition of the ground below. Again I can not see the horizon. I attempt to recall whether it is possible to see the horizon from an airplane. I think this is what they call ‘atmospheric perspective’‡ in art history courses. As you will note in the photograph I just took, the blue sky above the clouds meets the somewhat blue ground in a blurred band of white, the collapse of the clouds in perspective coupled with the haze of distance. When that ranger pulled us aside on the road of the north unit, he, after bringing, no, asking my father his profession, mine seemed to interest him less, posed the question as to whether the seas were wilderness. He lamented the paucity of true wilderness in North Dakota, most of it, he claimed, lay in the two units of Teddy Roosevelt National Park. Although my father said that people travel all over the oceans, I proposed that it is not a suitable comparison. On the land, the occupiable space is only a surface. As I look out the plane window there is not a point which looks untouched by human intervention, save for the stands of trees along a meandering river. The seas also have an occupiable surface which is traversed and sometimes cultivated for utility and pleasure. However, they also consist of a volumetric component which, although accessible, could hardly be said

chase 11

Things, all things in all measures, grow hazy as they recede into the distance, any kind of distance. How long do we hold on to them, retain their form. It is always in memory, whether it is a sound, an object, a person, or even a memory. These things that have turned into memories slip away as well, into shells around shells, around memories of memories. When they are written about, described, reminisced upon, they become physically something else once again. They occupy space and a more current time. The process of recession and recall, losing the horizon in the haze and returning to it a form, perhaps the horizon of the sea as light becomes visible breaking through the clouds to play across it, gives you comfort when you lose your equilibrium, when there is nothing left to support you when everything that you try to fix upon has been washed over, only the hum of the engines that follow you, that propel you, are constant, only feelings, warmth, love, contentment, fail to turn into intangible haze.

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