Once again rolling alongside the Gallatin River and skirting the western edge of Yellowstone, back to Salt Lake. This time it’s for a reading at the King’s English Bookshop.
This is one of the great independent bookstores that you can wander and browse, losing hours (and sometimes getting physically lost as well). Room after room of great books that make you wish you had extra lifetimes just for reading.
This was my third visit to Salt Lake City, but my first to the actual lake. There’s something quietly unsettling about a lake with no fish. Other than brine shrimp and a few other tiny critters, nothing lives in these waters, nothing else can survive. Just knowing that makes standing at its shore disorienting and trepidatious. It’s stunningly beautiful, but it’s a otherworldly beauty — lunar, alien.
As climate change dries the surrounding land and a growing population diverts more and more water otherwise destined for the it, the lake is disappearing before our eyes. As it turns to dust, its high levels of trapped mercury blow into the city, poisoning the people who are taking the water that, had it been allowed to replenish the lake, would have prevented the poison dust from developing. The same mercury is moving up the food chain, from brine shrimp to ducks to the hunter feeding his family. Strands of the web. It’s impossible to cut one strand without feeling the vibrations throughout the entire, interwoven structure. Or as Barry Commoner says, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
When the lake becomes dust
& the dust enters the rivers of our blood
no fish will swim through our bodies
no birds will fly through our dreams