Friday, May 6, 2016

Poetry of Gold

How does gold get into the mountains?

It is a mysterious stuff, gold. So beautiful and pure, different from other elements; almost other-worldy. McPhee in Basin and Range talks of gold as if it were sentient, willful, conscious of herself:

"Gold loves itself: it resists combining with other wants to be free. When cool, it almost always is free....joining together, independent of all. At high temperatures it will agree to marry others to form compounds, such as chlorine in the Earth's interior." 

He reminds me of Lewis Thomas in Lives of the Cell describing relationships between symbiotic plants as lovers...

Gold chloride is water-soluble in the water that circulates in magma. It eventually dances to the surface of the Earth and cools. Gold, once again wanting to be free, breaks away a it cools in flakes and literally "falls out of the water", along with her companion, silica, breathing herself into quartz. The two are lifelong companions, they move into fissures in rock forming veins together.

The mystery and poetry of gold.