By William Bryant Logan
The writer of Dirt and Oak brings to lifestyles this fastest, such a lot maintaining, such a lot communicative component of the earth.
Air sustains the dwelling. each creature breathes to dwell, replacing and altering the ambience. Water and mud spin and upward push, make clouds and fall back, fertilizing the airborne dirt and dust. Twenty thousand fungal spores and part 1000000 micro organism shuttle in a sq. foot of summer season air. The chemical feel of aphids, the ultraviolet sight of swifts, a newborn’s understanding of its mother’s breast―all occur within the medium of air.
lack of expertise of the air is dear. The artist Eva Hesse died of breathing in her fiberglass medium. hundreds of thousands have been sickened after 9-11 by means of supposedly “safe” air. The African Sahel suffers drought partially simply because we fill the air with business dusts. With the passionate narrative type and wide-ranging erudition that experience made William Bryant Logan’s paintings a touchstone for nature fanatics and environmentalists, Air is―like the contents of a bag of seaborne dirt that Darwin accrued aboard the Beagle―a treasure trove of discovery. 25 illustrations
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Extra info for Air: The Restless Shaper of the World
Twice, the Mongols fail to invade Japan, their fleets mauled by typhoons. ”) In 1588, the Spanish Armada is destroyed when a powerful Atlantic storm piles up more than half the fleet on the rocky beaches of Ireland. Never again are the Spanish a threat to invade England. The air is the great stage. Odors rise, waft, and diffuse through it. Chemical signals so transmitted are the most widespread form of communication on the earth. Sound is propagated through the air, making it the medium of every call, all language, each incantation or song.
The rain was not falling anymore. It was blowing sideways down the street as though it were in an awful hurry to get to Queens. The Levakises’ Lexis turned left on the on-ramp and drove onto the Grand Central Parkway. At Upton, Smith was scrolling fast through the radar screens: Upton, LaGuardia, JFK. The tornado pushed on into southern Queens. The rain slacked on State Street. I went out with Orion and turned left to follow our usual route. “Oh shit,” I breathed. Between 3rd Avenue and Nevins, the whole of State Street was littered with tree parts: London plane, Norway maple, linden, honey locust.
The energy to live is derived from these exchanges in the air. Finally, the shining of the sun in the atmosphere brings color to the sky and to the world. In outer space, only objects have a color. All else is black. On this earth, we live in a world of shifting colors, lights and shadows, by means of the slow cold flame of the sky. Floating Darwin’s Dust I used to ride a quarter horse named Rita on a broad dirt field in the mountains of central California. The field was a red-brown table with blue, chaparral-covered mountains to the north and east and the long green trough of a valley to the west.