John Muir


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This gathering of mountain waters on reaching this Yosemite position of their lives are carefully prepared for this rock display & rock music Before reaching the brow of their falls they are deflected from side to side upon granite instruments of proper angle. They are whirled & gurgled in eddies & potholes [glances] carefully mixed with [a] measured portions of air calmed in pools basins & finally moved over the brink with songs that go farther into the substance of our being than ever was touched by [hearing] songs that bear pure heaven in every note. The [glassy] spiritualized water take the voice of meshed & woven comets, going with a grace that casts poor mortals into an agony of joy. If my soul could get away from this so called prison & be] granted all the list of attributes generally bestowed [up]on [the] spirits [of all countries]. My first ramble


on spirit wings would not be among the volcanoes of the moon nor would I follow the sunbeams to their sources in the sun I would [hover] about the beauty of our own good star. I would not go moping among the tombs nor move the artificial desolation of men. I should study natures laws in all of their crossings & unions I should follow magnetic streams to their source & follow the shores of our magnetic oceans. I would go among the rays of the aurora & follow them to their beginnings & study their dealings & communions with other powers & expressions of matter & I would go to the centre of our globe & read the whole splendid page from the beginning. But my first journeys would be into the inner substance of flowers & among the folds & mazes of Yosemites falls How grand to move about in the very tissue of the falling columns & in the very birth place of their heavenly harmonies looking outward as from windows of ever varying transparency & staining. Alas How little

Date Original

November 1869


Original journal dimensions: 10 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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