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High Sierra
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It’s not safe to hike far away and up into the Sierras on your own, he knew that, but he had to get away from everything and everyone, and away from clocks and calendars, he needed to be somewhere where he could be in and of his own self, to feel his living. And yes, the further he walked from the trailhead, the higher he climbed, the higher he felt, no need for pills or puffs, it was the rocks and the woods welcoming his coming, and he welcoming his own thinking. And then, at an opening to a mountain meadow, something he had not imagined: a sudden looming of what felt like all the spirits of all the beings who would have walked this world before his flickering time in it, here they all were, their billions of births and bustles and deaths, swarming, but not swamped by meaningless mortality, no, somehow it felt like a universal affirmation, a smiling underneath a common endless sun. This was where to be, and how to be.

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