"The Earth is old. Nothing lasts. All life is kin. Different eyes perceive different worlds, and much remains hidden. Ours is an age of extinctions; ours are the hands of the destroyers. Grief and beauty are knotted together. Curiosity and imagination are fundamental human forces. So are fear and hatred, passion and compassion. None of this is surprising.... But scale matters. At this high level of generality, everything seems obvious. When I focus on smaller things, the picture changes." from the bookSitting on a mesa above the Rio Grande, her back pressed against the remnants of eons-old volcanic eruptions and her thoughts drawn to the unavoidable significance of the laboratories at Los Alamos a few miles away, an idea plants itself in SueEllen Campbell s mind. Brought to fruition, the idea becomes a journey to find the seam where past and present, geology and history, Yellow-bellied Marmots and White-tailed Ptarmigans meet and join to create the world in which we find ourselves.With elegant, urgent prose, Campbell attempts to make sense of a planet shaped 13.4 billion years ago by awesome natural cataclysm and now threatened with destruction by environmental cataclysms of human origins. Spurred by curiosity, despair, and an analytical mind, she wanders from Colorado to New Mexico to Canada s arctic coast investigating not only facts and data, but also the mystery that lies below the surface."
SueEllen Campbell is professor of English at Colorado State University and the author of Bringing the Mountain Home.
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