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A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words
updated: Jun 11, 2011, 8:30 AM
Looking down at the enormous forest fire raging across Arizona, I was stunned by the vastness of the fire and the accompanying attack of nerves that fires can inspire.
Viewed from our jetliner headed for Albuquerque, we were simultaneously struck by the vastness and density of the smoke and what resembled ferocious attacks by a series of points in the fire, emitting bright new plumes of whiter smoke as they drove to the Southwest while wind blew the smoke generally east. An unforgettable sight.
I had read that the fire was huge, but the numbers of miles (at this writing, 365 square miles) and acres are abstractions. Now we FELT the enormity of the calamity to wildlife and greenery. What horrible things must lie under that vast and deep layer of destruction.
Ye gods. Maybe sometimes you do have to see it to believe it.
And then, as we were walking to dinner, Sharon pointed to the sun low in the smoky sky and said "Look at the red wafer!"
Sure enough, in the darkening smoke there was Stephen Crane's sun, "pasted in the sky like a wafer." (From "The Red Badge of Courage".)
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