Gretel Ehrlich Essays

Gretel Ehrlich Essays-69
Return to the Table of Contents The collection is organized by book titles and by types of materials such as correspondence, book reviews, project files, research materials, resumés, business and financial materials, journals, and audio visual material. Researchers wishing to view the original films are urged to make an appointment prior to coming to the archive. Copy requests in excess of 5 pages must be approved by the donor or her representative.

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For a moment the wave is a mirror image of underwater contours.”“A Match to the Heart” similarly echoes the very essence of the elements it records: water, the fire of lighting, the sturdy utility of Wyoming earth, the blissful dynamic of air.

It also poses answers to that most personal of questions: Who am I?

The collection contains correspondence between Ehrlich and some of these important authors, including Barry Lopez, Ted Hoagland, William Kittredge, and Terry Tempest Williams.

In addition to her writing, Ehrlich is also known for her work in film editing and producing, beginning with her studies in film at UCLA and culminating in several productions as well as a 1976 PBS grant, which led to a documentary about sheep herding in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.

As they approach the shore, their length suddenly decreases, and to compensate, the waves slow down and steepen.

The shallow bottom refracts waves: they are bent, not by a twist of wind but by the shape of the ocean floor.I existed but I didn’t know how"--a gap in her knowledge she aims at least partially to rectify. “An intake of breath is not just oxygen, a pulse is not just the rush of blood but also the taking in of divinity through an orifice, and as it moves through, it becomes a spark.Witnessing open-heart surgery to better grasp the mystery of the organ she sought to heal in herself, Ehrlich says: “I was a traveler, a Marco Polo who had arrived in a place so exotic, few had seen it before. To be inspired is to have accepted spirit in the lungs and heart, to watch it circulate through miles of blood vessels and capillaries whose tiny fenestrations allow oxygen, nutrients, and grace to leak into the tissues of muscle and consciousness, then be taken up again, reoxygenated, and returned.” Turning her attention to the brain, she declares: “The synapse is holy. Is it like unrequited love, or a lover who is spirit only, who has no body?Her vivid, intelligent meditations on the land, especially the wide horizons of a Wyoming ranch, invited readers to experience an almost mystical connection to an environment few had ever known directly.In the work that followed--a memorable essay in “Legacy of Light” (1987); a novel, “Heart Mountain” (1988); stories, “Drinking Dry Clouds” (1991); and the nonfiction “Islands, The Universe, Home” (1991)--she continued to hone and perfect her vision, garnering along the way a devoted and enthusiastic following.“How odd,” Ehrlich considers, “that we walk around with these bodies, live in them, die in them, make love with them, yet know almost nothing of their intimate workings, the ludicrous balancing act of homeostasis, the delicate architecture of their organs and systems, or the varying weathers of their private, internal environments. I felt as if I had broken into a hidden cave and come upon rubies and sapphires.Up to this point my living and breathing had been an act of faith. Looking past skin, red tissue, white bone, into a chest held open by a steel frame, I saw a beating heart.”She stands in awe of both the mechanisms of life and the vocabularies used to approximate them.Along the way we are privy to an introspective autobiography splendidly rendered.With her first book, “The Solace of Open Spaces” (1985), Gretel Ehrlich proved herself to be a prose poet of impressive talent and breadth.Bodies of thoughts swim in the synaptic lake, sliding over receptors, reaching for the ones that live on the other shore. where we pause between life and death, treading water in the oblivion of a gray sea. In response, she produced “A Match to the Heart"--a dazzling work of art--and so changes ours.An interval of between 0.5 and 1 millisecond transpires before an impulse makes its way across the gap .

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