Landscapes of Longing: Pilgrimage and Desire in Anthony Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land.

“You’ve been longing again for what you have.”  – Carl Dennis, View of Delft

The first time I drive across the desert and into the Rio Grande valley, I swim into blue. The sky is as sharp and vast as I’ve ever seen it—blue so expansive and pure it hurts my eyes. 

In her beloved novel set in Santa Fe, Death Comes for the ArchbishopWilla Cather puts it this way: “Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky.” 

Perhaps it’s this peculiar sense of openness, how the sky feels like it might at any moment swallow you whole, that makes Santa Fe feel like a natural home to seekers and pilgrims. In my case, I’ve come to Santa Fe in late summer for a ten-day writer’s residency, hoping I’ll find myself, or God, or at least a really good idea for a poem. 

Read the full essay over at Curator Magazine.

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