Above Tree Line: July

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I’ve been a negligent blogger, for more reasons than could possibly be interesting or appropriate to describe, though one of those reasons is my near total absorption in Jane Austen’s complex prose and fascinating character development, thus the current partiality for complex prose myself, the willingness to go on and on like the ever-talkative Miss Bates, into as many subjects as can tolerably be imagined, and still hold onto the thread, as far stretched as it might get, and as many metaphors as might comfortably fit (not to mention commas), in a sentence; and for an excellent, modern example of deft and impressive sentence structure read Claire Messud‘s The Emperor’s Children.  And while you’re at it, read her new The Woman Upstairs, because it is a majorly brilliant book.

Over a week ago we fulfilled our July intention of getting above tree line.  David, Anne and I summited Mt. Eisenhower on a day of intermittent sun and clouds.  The wind was strong and cool enough to require our jackets, which was a great change and a greater relief after a too-hot week.  The Pemigewasset Wilderness ranges to our south folded away in blue layers, and we looked out over the long ridge formed by Mt. Bond and Bondcliff, imaging the 19.5 mile traverse we’re planning to do in August.  It’s not an easy hike, with over 3,700 feet of elevation besides the long mileage.  But it allows you to walk into and out of the wilderness, literally.

This week my training for both that long hike and an upcoming triathlon will be confined to an island, less than 2 miles long and 3/4 mile wide and 12 miles off the coast of Maine — Monhegan.  David and I walked a few of the supposed 17 (or 12, depends on which source you read) miles of trail yesterday evening, out to Burnt Head and White Head, steep cliffs overlooking the Atlantic.  He’s here to paint.  I’m writing.  Including my blog. More soon.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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One Response to Above Tree Line: July

  1. nancy says:

    Though hiking has never peaked my interest (intended), mostly because I can’t stand the bugs in the woods, I have to admit your blog pieces about above the tree line, are favorites! Keep it up (intended)!

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