I reached my black, cloth-gloved hand into the snow and retrieved a hundred, no a thousand-thousand tiny diamonds. The snow had been struck by rain and quickly froze the tiny drops to crystals. On my black gloved palm, they showed, radiant in the sunlight, a glorious decoration; not one priceless gem but a wealth covering miles of mountains, all at my disposal. Again and again I dropped them, picked up another scoop, leveled them off to one layer, scattered on the black background, and admired. These are more beautiful and of more value to me than a hard pressed piece of carbon cut to delicate form – these diamonds of vanishing quality.

lz 1985

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