I am not familiar with the work of Craig Arnold. I am not familiar with the University of Wyoming or Japanese volcanoes.
But when I first saw the story of Arnold’s disappearance on CNN.com a week or so ago, something struck me. It was the picture that accompanied the story. His eyes are looking upward, his mouth frozen in movement, his hand near his face, caught in gesticulation. Gesticulative speakers are passionate, and passionate people are rare. From this one picture, from that one pose, I became intensely worried about him.
I’ve checked CNN every day since, looking for news. Nothing. So I searched today, and I found this story, stating he is presumed dead. The story contains a link to his blog, and coming upon his writing, so public, so present, I feel like I should be still. These are the words of a man who, very likely, will not be coming back.
Terrible things happen a million times a day, yes, so I find it hard to justify the sadness I feel for this unfamiliar, middle-aged, haiku poet.
But I feel sad all the same.
Deep in the forest of China pine
also a road of my own I took –
a road to pass the misty rain
a road to take the mountain wind.