A Country Rag
by Jeannette Harris
NOTE 2009: Carolyn Moore, formerly ACR's Contributing Editor and now Vice President, allowed me relatively free access to her mountaintop home, a comfortable and meditative retreat full of art and remembrances of her late husband, and father to their three accomplished and cordial daughters, law professor and ASU department chair Dr. Richter H. Moore, Jr.. Sometimes we visited together and separately on other occasions, all of them enjoyable, entertaining, educational and relaxing. Later on, struggling with treatment and recovery from breast cancer (twice), she donated the property to Appalachian State University in the name of her husband, after whom there is also an ASU scholarship available as the Law and Society Research Award. He is known as the "Father" of criminal justice in the southeast who chaired ASU's department for 14 years and was a founder of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the Southern Criminal Justice Association, among other professional organizations.
"The sky is blue because air molecules intercept the short blue
wave-lengths scattering them across the sky."
From this mountain crest, I sit on a cot, posted by chimney and
shelves of books, savor coffee by the picture window as ridges dawn
from a settling of pink, white and gray. The view is so high, I
might by flying, thought perhaps the Blazer would, rounding sudden
hairpin turns and guardless cliffs on yesterday's ascension. I've
wakened today to warm visions of friends, one of whom lent me this
house, buttressed wood and stone against the horizon.
Swayed by a chill, lofty wind, October leaves remain green and lush. With glasses I locate sparse strands of yellow, magenta, sienna. Clouds in
smoke-like traces race, thicken, nearly cover the sky. If I stood,
walked round on the top deck to its railing, could I catch a cool ride on
those wave-lengths? It feels like I might from here.
Just a thin wall, molecules of flesh and skull with so much space in
and between, keeps, separates us. Chlorophyll -- a leaf, a needle of
pine helping to frame this climbing spiral -- wouldn't do. But we could be lucent,
a carbon physic diluted to cycle odd and even in oxygen. We could be air. We could be breath.
boon: a prayer, blessing
Graphic: Photo taken at the home of Sarah Joslyn, Omaha, NE, who established with a $5 million dollar grant the Joslyn Art Museum and hosted in 1890 The National American Woman Suffrage Association Convention and the
first meeting of the International Council of Women.
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© Jeannette Harris, November 1998. All rights reserved.