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Rapid and Slow
updated: Sep 04, 2011, 1:00 PM

By John Wiley

A couple of days ago we flew over the phantom building outline at 101 and 154, and it got me thinking about how fast some things can change. Could be a just year or two before this scene of a recent tragedy is transformed into something solid within those orange lines.

Some of the buildings we saw in downtown Ashland a couple of weeks ago probably haven't changed much in nearly a century. As we climbed out of their airport was magical somehow to look down at those umbrellas out the back next to the river, where we'd been sipping coffee a few minutes before.

We also noticed an intricate labyrinth on a downtown corner, where we imagined Ashlanders pausing to watch someone slowly walk the maze as people have done elsewhere for thousands of years.

Similar yet different from the UCSB bluffs labyrinth that somehow has a more ancient feel.

Before long we were passing Crater Lake, nestled among a collection of notable Oregon peaks. How many millennia did it take for volcanic and glacial sculpting followed by weather finishing, to make this scene?

Close by is an especially craggy peak that I haven't looked up the current name of, nor the names various native peoples must surely have had for it.

A little further along are the Three Sisters peaks, nestled among what I guess are smaller cousins or playmates created at various times in various ways.

Much more rapid change came to the people in this boat, as they ran the rapids in the Deschutes area. Minutes earlier they presumably felt quite different than at this moment sitting in relatively quiet water.


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