JOHN MUIR

SUMMER 04
















Heavy with pack i am falling headfirst into the granit corridor. It is shown vision clear: at impact —
in another half-second — my lower jaw will shatter on the rocks. In this remote wilderness that will likely mean death.

All has led to this moment: the prophetic dream at the foot of a giant juniper two nights prior; the backpack fallen — almost lost — into the high altitude river barely an hour before; the brisk walk inside a hidden wilderness sanctuary to quickly unpack and dry gear while the day is warm; the peculiar look of the boulder that i forgo testing before grabbing it to climb down and which now falls with me.

A fraction of second left...the Jaguar appears...fall shifts in slow motion...the decision to live is made. A body twist and my right hand, as if by magic, comes between the jaw and the granit slab, finding even time to press against the rock and absorb some of the shock.

I crawl out of the corridor dazed and bruised. Soon a state of shock sets in at the enormity of what just occured.