A natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising more or less abruptly to a summit, and attaining an altitude greater than that of a hill, usually greater than 2000 feet (610 meters). On a cold night three and a half months after the blaze, from a balcony above the strip, the city looked like a fire itself in the middle of nowhere—flashing, blinking, sparkling—the air filled with something like the gold dust from Dolly Parton’s song Smoky Mountain Memories.” It smelled of funnel cakes just out of the fryer, as though it were summertime at the fair.
Dark Mountain offers no dogma or moral instruction, but if it has sometimes brushed up against the experience of the sacred, I guess it’s because that is just what happens when people come together in the face of the unknown, finding a sense of communion that is often lacking elsewhere, and making room for the strange kinds of words that point towards the wordless.
The draw for most visitors to Schuyler is the Walton’s Mountain Museum, a quaint, community-run, seven-room exhibition of Walton memorabilia, set recreations and town ephemera housed in Schuyler’s former elementary and high school, which also serves as the town’s community center.
As a folk herbalist practising in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, I live remotely, keeping a distant participation to some degree (perhaps never enough?), in the mainstream rush and panic of daily life in the ‘real’ world of productivity, competition and corporate time sheets.
The next thing I knew I was in Room 1408 in the North Tower at Cedars of Lebanon being stuffed with antibiotics and steroids, having blood drawn, my wheezing chest listened to just about every time I drifted off to sleep, my vitals taken every six hours, and round the clock attention by some of the most attentive and considerate nurses I could imagine.