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Profile, Quizzical

On a wild night

Now that we are past the autumnal equinox, night comes early in Portland. It is a bit chill, a bit windy, a bit rainy. So here I am, sitting in a café in the St. Johns district, on the bit of land between the Willamette and the Columbia reflecting on wild nights. On nights like this I feel one might step around a corner into faerie, that there is, somewhere, a softening of the walls between the world. Only one usually doesn't--at least I never have.

Edges attract me. The places where great rivers meet, where land meets the oceans, where mountains meet the sky. Edges are where energy can be made to work, edges and fluids. The seas hold much of earth's life. Of life above the sea, it is mostly near the surface of the earth, not in the high air, let alone the vast spaces between the planets. It is the meeting of earth and sky that makes surface life possible; a border where air and water capture energy.

Cities are built on edges, or else on paths. And sometimes, it seems to me, that all the point of the building is to answer the wildness; if one never steps into faerie, at least one may see an echo of it, here in the streets. If one tries, and loves the wildness enough...

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I'm taking a course on Victorian kid-lit: Carroll, MacDonald, Barrie, Kipling, and Nesbit. I think you've just summed up what all of those authors are saying. May I take a copy of this to my professor?

Wow, thanks. Yes, please do show your prof.

Hmm, a very de Lint sort of observation. (And I definitely mean that as a complement.) You wax eloquent, my friend.

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