Bread, sun, the possibility of our infinite smallness

Yesterday the sun was bright and warm and reminded me of summertime, of green things and humidity, of dust and the heat rising off the ground and I thought I’ve got to get out, I’ve got to run to the hills, everything is coming alive and I’ve got to get away from all of this asphalt. I only want to see it, over and over for as long as I am able; that miracle of the forest, hunks of dirt all clung over with plants, lonely, existing in spite of us, that other world with its other beings that go on acting out their dramas whether we are noticing or not. I drank decaffeinated green tea and put on my sunglasses and felt my cheeks grow warm as I drove to Talent, Grants Pass, Williams. Williams is my last stop with the bread and I always feel at home there, in the dim little store with its dreadlocked customers in their blousy clothing, shopping stoned for overpriced fair-trade chocolate bars and russet potatoes. Everyone is a little pale, everyone looks like they got dressed in the dark. It’s not like at the co-op in Ashland, where people stare at me trying to figure out which sort of wealthy hippie I am and am I a boy or a girl and why is my hair so awkward right now? I want to tell them that it’s been a long time (eight years) since I’ve had long hair and I don’t remember it ever being this curly. And Williams is not like the fancy restaurant where I deliver five cases of ciabatta (on the hand truck, which always has a flat) and the cook is angry and we always have the same dialogue, without fail

“What is this? Bread?

“Well did you order it?”

“Fine!” (scrawls his signature on the invoice) “Put it in the walk-in!”

And I have to navigate the hand-truck around the cooling racks of small glass cups of chocolate to the freezer, which feels like Alaska, and stack the boxes on the top shelf before I turn into an icicle, and all around me the rush of fans and the smell of shortbread and yellow cake and something else, and the carefully wrapped steaks and the cambros of leftover sauteed asparagus that they’ve got to find a way to use.

After work I drew all the dogs that live on the end of this rutted dirt drive to me like a magnet and we went running on the trail that climbs up into the hills, through the manzanitas and the madrones and the sugar pines and the poison oak that is just beginning to bud. The dogs ran behind me, panting, or bounded ahead ears-up after deer, somewhat optimistically. It was warm, almost hot, but there was a moment where afternoon switched to evening and a cool-damp breeze dimmed the light and moisture rose up from the earth as we spun away from the sun, towards night and the cold galaxies and the possibility of our infinite smallness.

For dinner I roasted root vegetables and chicken in a cast-iron skillet in the little oven in my trailer- it is very exciting to have an oven. Then I dicked around until bedtime, which is about 9:30 as I live in the country, at which point I opened the windows to let in the galaxies and burrowed under the blankets with my small dog, making a nest of warmth wherein Kinnikinnick and I share our small dreams, waking and sleeping and moving around each other in a sort of choreography, she always attempting to edge me out by pushing me with her small paws and at the same time managing to not become crushed.

Readers! My campaign is very close! Very, very close! I am very close to being able to do this thing that I want so incredibly to be able to do. I want to walk all day and sleep on the ground. That is all that I want, anywhere, ever. Sleep hard, eat something stale or sugary and watch the sunrise. Cross great distances on only my two feet. Wear the same pair of running shorts until they fade to black-brown and I have to mend them with dental floss.

I have a new incentive for you! The next four people to pre-order the book will get a box of homemade paleo chocolates! I said that they would be raw chocolates in the campaign, but actually they will be paleo and I can’t edit the description now. The ingredients however are very similar. They are an amalgam of very dark fair-trade chocolate, coconut oil, honey, almond butter, sea salt and vanilla in a dark chocolate shell. They are very rich and very, very potent.

I am actually trying to quit chocolate right now and writing that description just now made me feel like I was dying.

The next four people to pre-order a copy of my book will receive a box of these, in April, along with whatever other perks you select!

Update: The chocolates have been claimed! Thank you!!

pre-order my book here


25 thoughts on “Bread, sun, the possibility of our infinite smallness

  1. I just ordered your book too. Even though I ordered the ebook when you hiked before. I thought I only wanted the ebook at first but hearing you talk about making it the best book it can be has changed my mind 🙂 Also I sososososo enjoyed your blog posts last year it makes sense to me to give back. I really hope you will be able to keep blogging from the trail at least in some form and I really hope you get funded so you can hike again. You sounded so happy from the trail!

  2. You remind me how lucky I am to be able to walk as long and far as I desire, sleep in the dirt under the stars for most of the year…

    Oh, and my hair gets a little bit more curly every year. Sorry. Oh, and one last thing. I used to stock bread for People’s Coop in Portland, a million years ago. Good bread is worth it.

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