Scene: Four African-American men in Glasgow, Kentucky, hunting friends for fifty years. They tell the same stories, laugh at the same jokes, complete one another’s sentences. Intimate beyond intimate, the men transcend time and place. The world changes around them but they live simply, and amidst nature. It’s a quiet, reverent lifestyle.
These are the men in Walt Harrington’s gorgeously rendered The Everlasting Stream. The book was assigned as part of my MFA program.
In one scene, just after a ripe hunt, Harrington distills the experience. Listen.
“I was watching the men, not talking myself but laughing with them, when time elongated, and I was standing on the field, on the drive and yet standing outside the place, already realizing that I would remember these moments not only as a collection of facts but of pure sensation…The hour at the Everlasting Stream seemed endless, an hour floating in time, disconnected from the rest of our lives.”
Pure sensation. Such a lovely ideal. What does it mean to you?