GRETEL EHRLICH THE SOLACE OF OPEN SPACES PDF

New York: Viking. THE reader does well to be leery of books whose authors pack personal crises into nature as if the wilderness were Lourdes. Gretel Ehrlich is not one of those writers who hail epiphanies in every pin oak, but for those who do I can think of no better advice than the poet David Ignatow's: I should be content to look at a mountain for what it is and not as a comment on my life. She continued it in fits and starts over five years and only later arranged it chronologically into 12 chapters, any one of which stands beautifully on its own. These pages recount a journey toward that contentment to which Mr. Ignatow's lines point.

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New York: Viking. THE reader does well to be leery of books whose authors pack personal crises into nature as if the wilderness were Lourdes. Gretel Ehrlich is not one of those writers who hail epiphanies in every pin oak, but for those who do I can think of no better advice than the poet David Ignatow's: I should be content to look at a mountain for what it is and not as a comment on my life.

She continued it in fits and starts over five years and only later arranged it chronologically into 12 chapters, any one of which stands beautifully on its own. These pages recount a journey toward that contentment to which Mr. Ignatow's lines point. As Miss Ehrlich tells it, ''I had come alone because my partner in the project - also the man I loved -had just been told he was dying.

He was not quite thirty. From time to time she telephoned John, a Wyoming sheep foreman who had befriended her. After many months he said, 'One place is as good as another, you might as well come home.

She tossed out her city clothes, cut off her hair, learned to ride and rope and punch cattle, to help deliver lambs and calves and to survive Wyoming's below-zero winters. She did time alone in the mountains, herding sheep, which, she observes, move down the valley ''in a card-stacked sequential falling.

Little by little, the arid landscape's ''absolute indifference'' steadied Miss Ehrlich. She brings the long vistas into focus with the poise of an Ansel Adams, writing, ''At night, by moonlight, the land is whittled to slivers - a ridge, a river, a strip of grassland stretching to the mountains, then the huge sky. Despite Wyoming's desolate look, Miss Ehrlich found ''coziness'' in the small population.

Among the people she discovered a ''good-naturedness. In the chapter, ''About Men,'' which questions city stereotypes of cowboy macho, Miss Ehrlich points out that on the working ranch ''it's not toughness but 'toughing it out' that counts'' and that ''the secret, inner self is worn not on the sleeve but in the skin.

They get climbed on, kicked, rained and snowed on, scuffed up by wind. Their job is 'just to take it. City friends accused Miss Ehrlich of hiding out. She believed otherwise. For the first time I was able to take up residence on earth with no alibis, no self-promoting schemes. Although Miss Ehrlich's suffering eventually abates, what comfort Wyoming gives her comes hard won.

By the time Miss Ehrlich meets a Wyoming man and they marry, she has been to the mountaintop and seen the mountain for what it is. View on timesmachine. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions.

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The Solace of Open Spaces

In Ehrlich travelled from her home in New York to Wyoming to shoot a film on sheep herders. While she was there, her partner David died. What started out as a work trip became the beginning of a new life, and a long and deep attachment to place. In The Solace of Open Spaces , Ehrlich captures the incredible beauty and demanding harshness of natural forces in these remote reaches of the West, and the depth, tenderness and humour of the quirky souls who live there. The Solace of Open Spaces releases the bracing air of the wilderness into the stuffy, heated confines of winter in civilisation. Due to the current circumstances, the Royal Mail are taking significantly longer to deliver our packages to you.

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WHAT A MOUNTAIN IS

In Ehrlich travelled from her home in New York to Wyoming, the least populous of all US states, to shoot a film on sheep herders. While she was there, her partner David died. What started out as a work trip became the beginning of a new life, and a long and deep attachment to a place. Originally published in , it was republished by Daunt Books in with a wonderful introduction by Amy Liptrot, and it is obvious why.

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