Thomas Doty – Storyteller


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Beyond Human Tracks

In the Siskiyou Mountains solitary Pilot Rock soars between the winter sun and the long shadows of trees. In the paths of birds, above snow-patterned striations of columnar basalt, a lone pine is bent by the wind.

Takelmas call this rock "stone standing up," a skyward place full of stories of ravens and eagles. Beyond the daily wanderings of people, Pilot Rock is climbed by those seeking solitude in the clouds and a wealth of dreams sharpened by height, by cold wind, by the screeches of birds.

Han Shan, the poet of Cold Mountain, wrote:

"storied cliffs were the fortune I cast
bird trails beyond human tracks
what surrounds my yard
white clouds nesting dark rocks"