John Muir


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52 Car Sink The line where sky & earth meet We learn in habitable regions to regard mtns [mountains] as fountains of all human good rivers & soil for valued fertile fields. Cities & wealth with all their refinements, arts development of human spirituality – but here the streams gliding silently & almost invisible in narrow green banks halt weakly ere they reach the lowlands or a little way out on the sunny plain – vanish fruitlessly as if repenting or timid. No fertile field, no [food] no human use. Yes a human use if we would but look high enough. Nowhere is God seen revealed so like an artist. So ineffably lovely the horizon suggests nothing beyond. The painted valley picture sink seems the only all-sufficient heaven

53 Heaven’s [best] color bloom covers it fills it all the mtns [mountains] that [ ] it in the sky arch so wide all are painted in the sweetest tenderest love dyes. The sunlight falls with a burning not blazing brilliancy because there is but little reflecting surface for it to fall upon some of the lavas shined like glass & patches of mirror water when seen frame the high tops but most is ashy sediment & gray small lvd [leaved] bushes. We never think of woodland hollows or damp fern [ ] dells home nooks for rest. For the region seems so perfect so fully accomplished in itself it suggests nothing. Lemon colored [ ] the orange-bars of pure violet The [sun] of evening remains being the last the orange changes to rich purple deepens to blue then the earth shadow black & cool covers the higher pks [peaks] & darkens the sky.

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 9.5 x 16 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist