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  • look at the house that stood on this spot before our house was built. no city. no street. chopholes for windows—or for measuring planks, I'm told—in the second stump: the living room. how must it have smelled inside. earth woodsmoke & kerosene lamp, lanolin & mildew, whatever local stew, golden chanterelle ink cap lion's mane oyster giant western puffball. oh wet. even today a forest of mushrooms follows each winter rain, moss instead of grass because of water, rain and runnels of it, all light coming through a haze of water. how it must have sounded, rain & frogs, chicken scratch, branch creak. banjo. in 1909, logging camps, a few farms coming up along the clearcuts. outposts. frontier. in 1910 even this ingenious stumphouse burned or cut for wood, a proper house built; our house. still, from here you could walk straight through northern rainforest to the sea, and beyond the sea, rising kilometers of black mountain & glacier & certain death that the builders paid to forget. thus the grandest view hidden in the old back hallway; to see this far sea line & glacial peaks in light above rainclouds, and even yesterday a rare double rainbow arc over the whole glass city, you must go past the kitchen, turn left unlock the door across from the bathroom and stand amongst our mops & pail, recycling & goodwill bin & a lone shoe for catching spiders, and look out the window there.

    one hundred and two years after this photograph was taken, my daughter was born. here, on this spot. she came through water also, in a pool in the front bedroom on the second floor, by two windows that caught the last of the sun through pine branches. can this be added to the historical record?

    audio: heavy rain on shingled modern house exterior; how might it have sounded then,
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