John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



is fairly above the mountain tops [of pouring his level floods [beams] of fresh light through the woods.] I am [free and] beyond the flock free to rove & revel in pure wilderness all the big [great] immortal days [in God’s beauty untouched by any care. Today I have been] Sketching today on the [Yosemite] north [Yosemite] Dome. It commands [where] views of nearly all the valley besides much of the high mountains [are to be had] [displayed] [with every vantage of height & position.] I would fain draw every thing in sight every rock & tree & leaf [needle of the pines I love them so dearly & every tree far & near & every feature of the majestic mountain walls, so simple in sculpture apparently in the mass yet so richly varied in detail when attentively seen.] But little can I do beyond mere outlines [in this line only] make pencil] marks with meanings like words readable [perhaps] only to [by] myself. Yet I sharpen my pencil & work on [with love labor] as if others might possibly [all the world were to] be benefited thereby. Whether these picture sheets are to be lost like [worthless & untelling as the] fallen leaves [shed here to waste [decay] beneath the snow, or [to] go to [my] friends like letters [to hint these glorious scenes] matters not much. For little can they tell to those who


have not themselves seen similar wilderness [the like scenery elsewhere] & like a language have learned it. [Otherwise my poor laborious sketches will be feeble speeches in an unknown tongue. There is] No pain here [for me]

[sketch cut out: Illilouette Fall & Mt Starr King, Yosemite Valley.]

no dull empty [days] hours, no fear of the past no fear of the future [not because there might not be a material [cause] enough for anxious glances in either direction but because] this blessed mountains [wilderness is] are so completely filled with God’s calm beauty [of wildness] [joy in every form] no petty personal hope or experience [or hope] has room to be. Drinking this champagne water is pure pleasure [and] so is breathing the living air [sky] & every moment is pleasure of limbs,

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img043.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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