[at-l] Engines

Cody Girl codycodygirl at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 10:02:34 CDT 2011

The constant roar of motorcycles bothered me a lot.   It was there as
background noise all through the middle.  the birds were absolutely
magnificent.  sometimes on a really hot muggy afternoon even the birds and
insects were still.  then it was closer to silence, like the whole forest
was waiting,, holding its breath and waiting for the coolness of dusk.
Death Valley must be something all right.  Thanks for posting.
On Jun 13, 2011 9:29 AM, "Amy Forinash" <aeforinash at gmail.com> wrote:
> That. Right there. I'm looking forward to hearing no engines. In 48 days.
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Jun 13, 2011, at 10:14 AM, "South Walker" <southwalker at windstream.net>
>> Every now and then something I have read speaks to me. This is from the
short story “Engines” by Bill Pronzini. A little background is necessary.
Geena has moved out and filed for a divorce. Scott has quit the job he hated
and put the house on the market. Then he takes the jeep and drives to Death
Valley, a favorite place of his, shoulders his pack and walks. He is alone
and sees no one for 3 days and then he says................
>> “I thought about Geena only once, on the morning of the third day as I
stood atop one of the crags looking out toward Needles Eye. There was no
wind and the stillness, the utter absence of sound, was so acute it created
an almost painful pressure against the eardrums. Of all the things Geena
hated about Death Valley, its silence –”“void of silence,”” an early
explorer had termed it -topped the list. It terrified her. On our last trip
together, when she had caught me listening, she’d said, ““What are you
listening to? There’s nothing to hear in this godforsaken place. It’s as if
everything has shut down. Not just here; everywhere. As if all the engines
have quit working.”’
>> “She was right, exactly right: as if all the engines have quit working.
And that perception, more than anything else, summed up the differences
between us. To her, the good things in life, the essence of life itself,
were people, cities, constant scurrying activity. She need to to hear the
steady, throbbing engines of civilization in order to feel safe, secure,
alive. And I needed none of those things, needed not to hear the engines.”
>> One of the best things about my 1999 sobo thru-hike was having the
opportunity to choose not hear the engines.
>> South Walker
>> MEGA ‘99
>> ”Ain’t but three things in this world that’s worth a solitary dime; old
dogs and children and watermelon wine.”
>> Tom T Hall
>> _______________________________________________
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