I just get better and better looking. Thanks, Virginia Jones, for sending this little portrait, a memento of our Grand Canyon rafting trip. Photo by Mike Jones or Liz Willey.
In the beginning, when we were still made of mud, and pieces of ourselves were always falling off, it was necessary to live close to water. Running water was best. Still water makes smelly mud, and we would be too easily stalked if we were to leave smelly droppings as we walked to and fro across the earth. Red mud was the best of all, because it was the oldest, ground from the most ancient stone to the finest dust and therefore an aid to memory, for we were an old people, the oldest people, and too easily did we forget our origins. We saw that often, especially upon the veldt but also far to the arid, mudless north. Straggling remnents of once vital families and strong tribes, mud slatherings fallen away, soft skin the color of sand, dry grass, dark water, shadow, or the clouds at sunset; peppered with bug bites and burned by the sun and worst of all, no memory of who they were, where they came from, how they came to be, and no idea of where they were going. Sad people with vacant eyes, lost in the bewilderness, but lessons to us all.