Pick-up Dogs How Two Rescue Dogs Save the West from Being Won

Clair de Lune

A sublime walk up on the mountain.

You can force the meditation scene, the peacock feather ceremony that’s supposed to make it all better. The search for the sublime is rendered impossible when you seek it out.

But sometimes the weather cooperates, a slight glitch in the system makes it warmer on the mountain than back in town; a slot in your schedule opens up; the moon is full, stirring your body and your soul; the dogs surprisingly behave, obeying your wishes.

And you just have to be up on the mountain. 

We headed up the mountain with snowshoes for a clear look at Mount Shuksan, so close we felt we could touch it, and Mount Baker, out there, elusive. Impossible to reach. Always. You live in its shadow for the past two years and Kulshan seems closer when you’re in British Columbia or somewhere on the Puget Sound on a ferry. Even on a hike that takes you right under its shadow, it seems to move away, leaving you behind. You tell your wife you’re going to Baker to go hike or ski. But really you know all you’re going to do is play in the midst of Baker’s bigness. Kulshan calls but you still can’t make it to the top.

Debussy’s Clair de Lune played in my head when we met for tea. The moon makes you mad. The moonlight prods into your soul. It’s beautiful outside.

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.
Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune
Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,
Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau,
Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres.

Your soul is as a moonlit landscape fair,
Peopled with maskers delicate and dim,
That play on lutes and dance and have an air
Of being sad in their fantastic trim.
The while they celebrate in minor strain
Triumphant love, effective enterprise,
They have an air of knowing all is vain,—
And through the quiet moonlight their songs rise,
The melancholy moonlight, sweet and lone,
That makes to dream the birds upon the tree,
And in their polished basins of white stone
The fountains tall to sob with ecstasy.

Paul Verlaine

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