First of all, my apologies if this post is incoherent and rough–I only had two hours of sleep last night, which is not nearly enough for me to function properly. So, be kind.
When I was a senior in college, I took a course on Wallace Stegner from Dr. Richard Cracroft. I’ve talked about this before on the blog; how it was one of the best experiences of my life. I began reading Stegner when I was fourteen and loved him; this class was a dream come true for me.
One of my favorite Stegner quotes is: “One means of sanity is to retain a hold on the natural world, … Americans still have that chance, more than many peoples.”
The natural world brings sanity to me. I am not a city girl. I feel strange and disconnected without mountains or desert or forest; when we first moved to upstate New York I felt that I had lost the sky. I came to love that beautiful place with its vegetation and gorges and lakes; but I knew the high desert first, and that is the landscape that calls to me most of all.
The picture above is of the Subway, a very awesome hike that is near where I grew up and where I have had some very excellent experiences. It is also a bit like the landscape for CROSSED. Canyons, streams, desert, water, sky and stone.
I had no idea as a child how profoundly the experiences hiking canyons every weekend would influence my writing later, particularly this book that is very dear to me. I wanted, so much, to do the setting justice. It felt like a character to me–it was that important, it had that much impact on everything else and was so integral to what the characters were thinking, feeling, doing.
So in honor of the setting I’d like to give you another two songs from the CROSSED playlist: The Climber by Neil Finn and This Hard Land by Bruce Springsteen.
Are there any songs that make you think of the places that bring you sanity?