Sunday, March 27, 2011

River odyssey

I feel a bit like a voyeur.  River Odyssey: A story of the Colorado Plateau by Gerald N Callahan almost made me feel like I was learning things I didn't have the right to know. 

The basis of the problem is that I know the author.  And the book is creative nonfiction.  Callahan is writing about his real experiences, thoughts, and feelings.  The poems and essays are all wonderful insights into one man's relationship with the water of the Colorado river.  And deeply personal. 

Even though the book is published, and clearly Callahan knows that anyone can pick it up and read what he has laid out on the page, I felt a little like I should ask permission to read it.  It was almost like sneaking a peek into someone's diary.

And the book made me sad.  Callahan's descriptions of the wilds of Utah made me miss it.  I spent three months in a tent just outside Green River, Utah in my younger days.  This is where Callahan's story opens.  In a bar I've been in.  With a conversation with a woman I'm pretty sure I've met.  But what I miss are the rocks.  The formations in Utah are amazing.  Callahan plopped me right in the middle of them, and I want to go back!

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