images-1A day after a dear friend’s memorial, I left for a twelve-day wilderness quest in the Abajo mountains of Utah. Having walked intimately with this friend through her illness and death over a six-month period, the experience was raw and fresh, deeply imprinted into my body and soul. And so, as we set up camp at 9000 feet in a remote wilderness of pines and aspens, I found myself in a strange and potent altered state—one foot in this world, one foot still across the threshold.

Our campsite was located on the edge of a recent burn. The wildfire left swaths of  freestanding skeletal snags and a few live ponderosas blackened and scarred by the flames. As soon as we arrived, I found myself avoiding the burn areas, turning my eyes away from that which had been taken.  I set up my tent in a lupine filled meadow overlooking scrub-oaks…

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