The grayest of grays


I had never heard of Charles Bowden until the Oct. 13 High Country News. I am moved to tears by what he saw and how he lived and the words he shared. He saw the darkest of all of us and did not shy away from it, shun it, or ignore it. He stayed and dug in and tried to show us that the duality or plurality that exists in all of us is not something to be ignored but should be explored — seen — even if it is not understood. Be curious. Respect and even friendship is possible. Very little in our world is black and white, yet society and institutions want to make it so (Democrats vs. Republicans, liberal vs. conservative, Droid vs. iPhone). Mr. Bowden seemed to live in the grayest of grays of this world, and in some respects, that is much more complex and truthful than what most of us experience in our lives.

Thank you for the beautifully written piece by Scott Carrier (“Charles Bowden’s Fury”). After what Mr. Bowden saw and experienced — what surrounded and engulfed him — he deserved some peace and quiet. But it saddens me that this peace is now a permanent state, and we are deprived of having someone who held up a mirror and challenged us to look a little deeper. I hope his final book — the long poem — is published. I want to read it, and I hope others do, too.

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