The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

high places

A photograph of a small stack of stones, precariously balanced, for purely decorative purposes.

They have started to appear along the forest path. First there was one, and the precarity was amusing; between one walk and the next the stack usually would have toppled, either gravity or other passers-by objecting. Now they line the path, darkling signposts, and the sight unnerves me – one such is charming, but seven or eight per hundred yards is absurd, an unfortunate insistence on human consequence, the ominous asserted presence of some unseen person, who could, for all I know, still be watching.

It is not that I imagine the path traverses pristine wilderness; the decaying asphalt of the old highway underfoot precludes that notion, and the ill-tended forest too clearly shows human intervention. Perhaps it is the precarious tidiness of these towers that dismays me; I am not certain. They disrupt the landscape, both real and imagined, and they distract me from whatever my thoughts happen to be, jerking me away from trackless flow of footfalls to the measurable building of fragile things in the world. I am not of the age or the humor, at present, to delight in knocking down harmless structures that others have taken the time and ingenuity to build up simply because they irritate me, but the temptation is there.


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