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  • I found a beat old bike behind the house and one afternoon rode out into the Champlain Valley. All the leaves had fallen and the sun was somewhere south of the Adirondacks throwing weak slanting light through the clouds. I passed silent trailer homes and empty fields lined by barebranch oaks clawing the low sky and ancient canted barns filled with shadows and rusting machines. It was November and cold. I stopped and watched two old men hazing a herd of grubby cows through thick squelching mud next to a big concrete shit lagoon and I thought, This is where milk comes from. If everything was as I wanted it to be, I could smile and squint out at the world and see right past the shit piles and cow farts. But this was real. This was the raw textured Truth, and this was better. The world is a messy place and there is no separating the message from the metaphor.
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