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October 2013, vol 9, no 3

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Mark Kaplon

Two Views of I'ao Valley

"Get a picture of the I'ao Needle, and make sure you have my head in there. It doesn't mean a thing unless I'm in there." Shouldering my pack I move past the tourists and cross the road-railing, picking up a narrow foot-trail that snakes in and out of I'ao stream toward the back of the valley. Unlike entering darkness from the lights of a town or house, when I make my camp tonight to await the nightfall I don't fear the night since of it I'm a part. I settle into dusk with plants and the ground and the Needle of the valley's peak, settle with the forest, so I know this world just as in day.

depth of the valley
bushes, rocks-- the mountain
descend into darkness