08 April 2012

Friar Tuck’s theorem

“Well, then, good fellow, holy father, or whatever thou art,” quoth Robin, “I would know whether this same Friar is to be found upon this side of the river or the other.”

“Truly, the river hath no side but the other,” said the Friar.

“How dost thou prove that?” asked Robin.

“Why, thus;” said the Friar, noting the points upon his fingers. “The other side of the river is the other, thou grantest?”

“Yea, truly.”

“Yet the other side is but one side, thou dost mark?”

“No man could gainsay that,” said Robin.

“Then if the other side is one side, this side is the other side. But the other side is the other side, therefore both sides of the river are the other side. Q. E. D.”

“’T is well and pleasantly argued,” quoth Robin; “yet I am still in the dark...”

—from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

02 April 2012

Understanding a place

Involuntary blockquote:

I’m here, talking to you about talking to rocks, partly because a volcano blew out sideways, and fifteen years later, I turned to look at another volcano I’d known my whole life and saw the same lateral eruption rip it apart thousands of years in the past. “What happened to me,” St. Helens said, “is exactly what happened to them. Your San Francisco Peaks were a peak before that day. Oh, and it would’ve been a really bad idea to stand where you’re standing now, what with the lahar and all.”

I just stood there with my jaw agape, looking from the lahar deposit to the gash in my beloved Peaks, sputtering the occasional overwhelmed expletive as the thrill of realization and the enormity of what had happened pinned me to ground that was perfectly safe for the geologic moment.

This is what I want to give you, my dear readers: the indescribable euphoria that comes from understanding a place for the very first time.

—Dana Hunter (@dhunterauthor), introducing her new blog, Rosetta Stones.