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By William Bryant Logan
The writer of Dirt and Oak brings to existence this fastest, so much maintaining, so much communicative component of the earth.
Air sustains the residing. each creature breathes to reside, changing and altering the ambience. Water and dirt spin and upward thrust, make clouds and fall back, fertilizing the dust. Twenty thousand fungal spores and part one million micro organism commute in a sq. foot of summer time air. The chemical experience of aphids, the ultraviolet sight of swifts, a newborn’s knowledge of its mother’s breast―all happen within the medium of air.
lack of understanding of the air is expensive. The artist Eva Hesse died of breathing in her fiberglass medium. hundreds of thousands have been sickened after September 11 by way of supposedly “safe” air. The African Sahel suffers drought partly simply because we fill the air with business dusts. With the passionate narrative kind and wide-ranging erudition that experience made William Bryant Logan’s paintings a touchstone for nature fanatics and environmentalists, Air is―like the contents of a bag of seaborne airborne dirt and dust that Darwin amassed aboard the Beagle―a treasure trove of discovery. 25 illustrations
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Additional info for Air: The Restless Shaper of the World
Before there was oxygen free in the air, no life could live on the land or exposed in the open air. Ultraviolet radiation blasts cells apart. When the usual double-oxygen molecule—O2—rises to the top of air, however, it absorbs this radiation, and the molecule is blasted apart. It may recombine shortly after into another dioxygen, or it may instead make trioxygen, O3, better known as ozone. This drama high in the air creates the roof of the world. Not only does the oxygen shield living beings from ultraviolet rays, it also caps the restless motion of the air.
The poet had written it during his trip to New York in 1929, at the beginning of the Great Depression. ” Stumbling out of the airless train toward a meeting with an exercise bicycle, I felt strongly that I was experiencing both. But there was something else written on that Zardoz poster, though not by its makers. ” That sentence gave me hope, and I have never been able to get it out of my mind. Evolution shows beautifully the music of variation and combination among all living beings, but it is weak and wooden when it comes to motive.
When it was muddy, the land sucked at our feet. When it was dusty, the horses left a wake as they ran their courses: a braid in the pole bending as the horses wove a line around six poles and back; a triangle on the barrels, as they made a large equilateral triangle, pivoting at the nodes. Forty years later, I still have color pictures of Rita and me running the poles, with the risen dust streaming out behind us. Sometimes, when the wind was up, there would be dust devils. Standing, waiting our turn for the poles, we would see a tan-brown helical funnel arise and weave across the field.
Air: The Restless Shaper of the World by William Bryant Logan