Monday, April 25, 2011
Lisa Loved "Bird Cloud"
"Bird Cloud is the name of Annie Proulx's 640 acres in Wyoming, that includes cliffs, wetlands and a variety of birds, raptors, reptiles, mammals, and the North Platte River runs through it. She has lived all over the world and in 2005, decided to call this home. This is the story of how she found the land, what it means to her, her family history, and how she built her home there with the help of an architect, Harry Teague, and the James Gang. That said, this is written with the same exquisite use of language as The Shipping News (still my number one favorite book).
At times, reading Bird Cloud, I found myself saying - it is poetry: 'The blue-white road twists like an overturned snake showing its belly...But it is a different world down by the river at Bird Cloud. On the north bank rears a four-hundred-foot cliff, the creamy caprock a crust of ancient coral. This monolith has been tempered by thousands of years of polishing wind, blowtorch sun, flood and rattling hair, sluice of rain.'
This book not describes the wonder and hardship of building on an unforgiving land in winds, rain, heat and snow, it is, I think Annie Proulx's story of how she has discovered herself, her work, her family, the land, and how that knowledge has molded her as a person - much like the land of Wyoming was molded by volcanoes.
Bird Cloud made me want to discover more about my family, the land that I call home and in some ways it made me want to move to Wyoming, rugged winters, quirky characters, and all. Annie Proulx has an amazing sense of the land and place. She is a national treasure, and if you haven't read her work, here's a great place to start."