Angel Exerpt of the Day: “Magnificent in its Symbiosis”

Angel is set to be released on September 27 in print and ebook versions.  Although it does not yet appear to be available for pre-order, it is listed on OmniLit (the ebook site).  (You can also get my book Broke is Beautiful there) They have included an excerpt of the first two chapters.  I will post some excerpts of the excerpt here to tempt the palate.

THE mountain is nothing but itself. It does not speak. It has no message, and yet it is the great metaphor maker. It reflects what the traveler brings to it: a getaway, quiet majesty, a challenge, security, or danger. It is all these things or none of them, and the traveler sees whichever he looks for in it. For millennia people have come to high mountains and sat at their feet or scaled their peaks, hoping to return with the answer to a question.

Six days a week, from Tuesday through Sunday, Paul Tobit drove a sightseeing bus on the winding roads at the base of Mount Rainier in Washington. People often asked him if he got tired of the view. He never did. The mountain was vast enough to provide endless material for wonder and contemplation. There was the sheer majesty of the towering peak, the way it changed with the seasons and the weather, the sense of danger and foreboding that came with its snow cap, where the oxygen was thin and adventurers risked life and limb for the chance to say they reached the summit.

“Magnificent in its symbiosis.” Those were the words Paul usually used on his tours to describe Rainier. Up on the mountain, everything is interconnected. The logs fall and they turn into mulch, which becomes soil for new trees. There’s an algae up there that grows in a wispy hanging vine. It somehow draws from the tree without choking it. To Paul, it was evidence of the hand of God.

The philosopher Edmund Burke described two different responses to natural beauty in his treatise On the Sublime and Beautiful: one originated in love, the other in fear. Fields full of flowers, meadows and ponds covered in lilies were comforting; they gave people a sense of harmony and security. They were pretty, but they were not sublime. To be sublime, a landscape had to evoke not only beauty but terror—a sense of something so great, so enormous, with a life span so long that we can scarcely comprehend it. It renders us weak and insignificant in comparison.

Angel by Laura Lee published by Itineris Press, release date September 27, 2011

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