Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Witness: Cotopaxi

On the short road from Hosteria La Cienega back to the Pan-American Highway, we came upon a lovely, wide view of the Cotopaxi volcano.  Throughout the day, Cotopaxi's snow-capped peak had been hidden mostly behind clouds, with occasional quick glimpses of the snow line.  

But the mountain still had such a presence for us.  It reminded me of Denise Levertov's wonderful poem, "Witness," which she wrote about another volcano: Mount Rainier in Washington.


Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils
of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue,
when I forget or refuse to go
down to the shore or a few yards
up the road, on a clear day,
to reconfirm
that witnessing presence.

Denise Levertov

The "witnessing presence" of Cotopaxi.

 Cotopaxi Volcano
June 2011

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