The Double Cone Quarterly
Window to the Wilderness
Fall Equinox 1999 || Volume II, Number 3

An excerpt from Lucia

a book in progress set primarily
in the northern Santa Lucia mountains

by Chris Lorenc © 1999

In the beginning there was rock. In the beginning there was water. In the beginning earth was formless and void with one word unspoken at its center. Then these mountains rose and the sea took shape, girdled by them. Turtle went diving and returned with the loam in her fingernail necessary for this word. Eagle and hummingbird and coyote met at the summit of Pico Blanco and surveyed their world with humorous eyes.

"People should be made of mud," Coyote said.

"No, of sticks. Maybe mud and sticks. But they need something permanent to hold themselves together. They need something like my beak and claws," said Eagle.

Hummingbird was quiet a long time. She carried the word in her breast. Finally she said,

"People should be made of maize."

And so it was from the loam Turtle carried that human words were born.

Photo courtesy of Olaf Domis © 1998

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