Quiet Earth, Big Sky


And he has a fixed and suitably arrogant relationship to his universe, a relationship geometrical and symbolic. From his center of sensation and challenge and question, the circle of the world is measured, and in that respect the years I have loaded upon my savage have not changed him. Lying on the hillside where once I watched the town’s cattle herd or snared April’s gophers, I feel how the world first reduces me to a point and then measures itself from me. Perhaps the meadow lark singing from a fence post—a meadow lark whose dialect I recognize—feels the same way. All points on the circumference are equidistant from him; in him all radii begin; all diameters run through him; if he moves, a new geometry creates itself around him.

No wonder he sings. It is a good country that can make anyone feel so.