Stephen Evans

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Stephen is a playwright and author of The Marriage of True Minds and A Transcendental Journey.

A Transcendental Journey

Twenty years ago today, I started a journey across country that I'm sure changed my life and helped me become, if not a serious writer, at least serious about writing. The journey continues, and I am grateful for both the mountains and the valleys.

Here is a little bit from A Transcendental Journey:

We know we're awake because our eyes are open.

By late afternoon, I was ready to stretch my legs. Following a particularly long swell of highway, I reached the top of a bluff. Spotting a rest stop across the highway, I pulled across and into the parking lot.

Set back a few hundred yards from the edge of the bluff, the building was long and low, mostly one big room, with a massive rectangular information desk in the center manned by several busy aides. Beneath the windows, low slung metal racks brimmed with brochures describing every attraction you could imagine, and many you couldn’t.

I strolled outside the building towards the bluff. The grass was tall, not Really Tall, but enough to hide a snake or two. So I kept my head down heading toward the brink. At the edge of the bluff, I looked up.

The slope fell sharply away hundreds of yards to where the Missouri River engraved a broad S through the grasslands. Beyond the wide impassive river, the brown flat earth stretched to the curve of the world, melding into a white horizon unguessably distant. But it wasn't the distance that held me to the spot.

There are qualities that belong to a place, that inhabit its essence and mark it in the memory. The quality of this bluff was Blue.

Blue has many names: azure, sapphire, navy, even cornflower. I have never seen a cornflower, or any blue flower for that matter. But cornflower blue I can picture in my mind: draw a luster from the earth, blend in sunlight, sift in moonlight.

What I saw from the bluff was not any blue I could imagine: not azure nor sapphire nor navy nor cornflower. Even now, when I close my eyes, I can't picture it. But I can remember how it felt, dodging my eyes and seeping unfiltered through the pores of my skin: Blueness, essence of Blue, narcotic Blue. Manifest Blue. True Blue. Transcendental Blue.

But there were two blues, not one.

We see the sky as blue because the blue electromagnetic waves of sunlight are shorter and are scattered more easily by the dust in the atmosphere. But nothing about this blue seemed scattered nor did sunlight seem required. Standing there, I realized that I had never truly seen a blue sky before. A stain had been washed from the stratosphere. Blue shone through.

Bodies of water are blue when they reflect the sky. But the Missouri had a different recipe that day, independent of the firmament above. Take a sea, fold it over and over and over like a translucent sheet, then glaze it in a tawny bed of grass. That is Missouri Blue.

Go to the Missouri River crossing.

Stand on the bluff on a cloudless day.

Blue lives there.

Copyright

© Copyright Stephen Evans 2017

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
This is so beautiful, my favourite passage in the book. So pleased you chose to share it with us. Thank you.
Sunday, 10 September 2017 17:40
Stephen Evans
Thanks - I think it is my favorite too. Crossing the Threshold.
Sunday, 10 September 2017 19:33
Nicholas Mackey
Beautiful writing, Stephen and thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us
Sunday, 10 September 2017 23:25
1057 Hits
8 Comments

I'm Writing a Limerick about William Faulkner

What rhymes with Yoknapatawpha?

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
You've flummoxed Google, Steve, which I know is your very particular skill. However, here goes: Last evening in Yoknapatawpha, th... Read More
Friday, 01 September 2017 15:39
Stephen Evans
That's better than anything I thought of!
Friday, 01 September 2017 16:48
Ken Hartke
Mashugana?
Saturday, 02 September 2017 16:27
497 Hits
3 Comments

Lands Away

                    There is no Frigate like a Book

                    To take us Lands away,

                    Nor any Coursers like a Page

                    Of prancing Poetry – 

                    This Traverse may the poorest take

                    Without oppress of Toll – 

                    How frugal is the Chariot

                    That bears a Human soul.

                                                Emily Dickinson

Recent comment in this post
Rosy Cole
Sadly, my ship too often sails without me! In the words of a poem my Dad taught me: TIME, you old gipsy man, Will you not s... Read More
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 17:09
379 Hits
1 Comment

Thunderstorms

The motion is what moves us,

Infidelity to earth,

The joy of thunderstorms,

Cleansing pain and discontent

With gleeful disregard

And reckless veneration

of what passes.

Copyright

© Copyright Stephen Evans © 2017 All Rights Reserved.

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Latest Comments

Rosy Cole Happy Birthday, Will Shakespeare
23 April 2018
I believe his name originally was spelled without the first E. Ah, the days before the iniquity that...
Stephen Evans Be Secret and Exult
15 April 2018
Then I shall be secret and exult
Monika Schott Stop for a minute, or a week
15 April 2018
So true, Rosy. I can really feel that, being 'hustled and swept away into a storyline that doesn't b...
Rosy Cole Stop for a minute, or a week
15 April 2018
A life-affirming post, Moni, so vibrant, and its wisdom was never more needed. The world is desperat...
Rosy Cole Be Secret and Exult
15 April 2018
Steve, I'm not sure that either of us has fully understood this badly crafted poem, at least from th...

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