On Borders

From Verlyn Klinkenborg

Nearly every image of nature I have ever come across misses the sense of intricate confusion underfoot in the woods, the thickets of goldenrod collapsing into each other along the roadsides, the rotting tusks of fallen beeches broken against the western hillside. It almost never makes sense to talk about the purpose of nature. But now — until the snow comes at last — I could easily believe that the purpose of nature is to create edges, if only because every edge, no matter how small, is a new habitation. As purposes go, that could hardly be more different from my own, which is to reduce the number of edges here, so that the big pasture is bounded by four clean lines only, free of interruptions from sumac or knotweed or shattered maple limbs. Left to itself, nature is all interruption.

2 thoughts on “On Borders

  1. susan

    And some of us prefer the chaos and confusion, the interest that’s held by the unknown, the sudden sprout in the crack of the driveway that blossoms into a three-foot high thistle nearly overnight.

    Four clean lines? What sort of life would that be?

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