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Fire and Ice

Silver City, NM. Today confirms an ever-strengthening prejudice of mine that pain and pleasure are linked in a dialectic, and that Comfort is the great false Idol of the tourist and RV newbie. There is a pleasure unique to a morning like this.

On my drive back into New Mexico I saw tumbleweeds ensnared in the upper horizontal members of utility poles. "Only in southern New Mexico," I smirked. But actually the wind has been howling in this entire quadrant of the country. It doesn't bother me as much as it does some people. Still, it does take its toll on you. You begin to feel like you are under constant assault.

And now this. Perfect calm, perfectly blue skies, clean air. At my dispersed campsite, a turkey vulture is searching vainly for a thermal; it is too cold. Until then it can only do languid spiral loops over the grassland. 

The inside of the trailer reached the low 30s F this morning. I slept in until sunrise. Never underestimate the pleasure of morning sun into a frozen, uncomfortable RV.  Sure, I've already praised it many times, and now I will again. Few things are finer than the opposition of scalding sun and cold, dry, calm air. And don't think for a moment it's because they neutralize each other into bland and meaningless Comfort.


XXXXX said…
It's like that here on the coast too. The wind off the ocean is always cool and the sun is always hot (when it's out). It can rain like crazy, that horizontal type rain so umbrellas are a joke. Sky/ sea/air cannot be distinguished separately and then in 15 minutes the sun is shining brightly and the sky so blue that you don't know where it all came from. Beautiful rainbows across the sky; sometimes double. Contrasts are magnificent. I agree.
George, thanks for that description of coastal weather experience. I don't spend any time on the coast, so it's my turn to be the armchair traveler.
XXXXX said…
Of course, I reserve the right to withdraw my glowing praise of coastal contrasts should I be here to experience the predicted 9.0 earthquake when the Cascadian fault blows. There is a limit to the appreciation of opposites, you know. Do like the pic you added.

Tesaje said…
I forget who said it, but there is something to the question of how can you be happy if you never know unhappiness.

I think an adventurous spirit discounts discomforts more than the average mall rat does.
Yes, I vaguely remember a quote on that, but also have forgotten who said it.
edlfrey said…
Is this the quote?
You can't be happy unless you're unhappy sometimes".”
― Lauren Oliver, Delirium