Persona non grata

Wednesday September 12, 2012

"Each time, you happen to me all over again," she would sing to Spirit Mountain. Spirit Mountain distracted her from the commonplace; it was her temple and her home, where on the mountain’s tranquil western slope she lived for two years in solitary communion with the Berkshires.

Each day she would collect for her art mountain ornaments of the season -- perhaps summer’s witch-hobble and birch bark, perhaps winter’s alder cat kins and yew. She was never impressed with the people she met there; these en counters would be brief, and no face would ever look familiar. Weekly she would hike into the valley town for provisions and to do business with the gallery selling her work.

Today her backpack contained the unusual -- an attic’s contents left out on the curb as trash. Returning from the market, she discovered the fortune. There were pearl combs, a hand-woven Vic torian-age piano scarf from Kashmir, and an 1854 first edition of "Uncle Sam’s Li brary: Stories and Legends."

"Who should care that I take this?" she thought; "After all, I’m preserving history."

Today on her ascent home she felt for the first time the weight of a Berkshire objection.


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