Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The year of the blue tree, part 2

A continuing saga of havoc, over-reaching, and Christmas Slightly Past...

We come to a wilderness of hummocks--mysterious long-haired tuffets. Beyond are willow shoots and a stream. I have a sudden memory of crossing a glacial morraine in western Canada, toiling over endless stones until I reached the green mouth of an ice cave, pale green and scary. Some memories one really should pay attention to.... I forget about the Canadian warning. Canadians are sedate and conventional, right? That's what they're always telling us. So maybe we don't want to take any Canadian advice. We toil on. The first blue spruce we find is satisfyingly blue and big, and Mike desires it--either that, or the equally large fir just behind it. By this time, the van is a mere lozenge in the distance. Before any decision is made, we must scrutinize every other tree in the meadow. We don't mind this. We find lots of holes where trees have been dug, all laced up with bands of fairy ice, some of it with milky swirls, ribbons, and ice leaves. N stomps in a big one. We go back to the first blue spruce. It is very big, bigger than I had thought. Mike flourishes his bucksaw, the very old kind that decorates country restaurants and is never used, and he starts to saw. N sits down with his legs aspraddle, and B makes helpful noises. I offer to go down the grassy rut and see if there is a passable connecting road, so that we don't have to drag a giant blue tree over hill, dale, hummocks, stream, etc. (Babe the Blue Ox, where are ye?) There is a road, but it is a dirt road with muddy ruts, and the stream loves it and laves it with enthusiasm--there is a pool about 12 feet long and 4-5 inches deep, measured on my boots--B's outgrown red rubber boots.