The fifteenhundred-foot thickness

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To put it another way, in the fifteenhundred-foot thickness of the Bloomsburg formation, there were five millimetres for each hundred and sixty years. The interstate, with its keloid configuration, was blasted into the Shawangunk quartzites, blasted into the redbeds of the Bloomsburg, along the New Jersey side. As if that was not enough for one water gap, it turned and crossed the river. In all the rock we had walked by, the rivers and streams that carried the material had been flowing west co-working space amsterdam and northwest. I looked over the bank at the inventive Delaware, going the other way. ”When did the Delaware River come into existence?” I asked Anita. She shrugged, and said, “Long ago.” I said, “Really.” She turned and looked back toward the great slot in the mountain, and said, “In the late Jurassic, maybe. Possibly the early Cretaceous. I can look it up. I didn’t pay much attention to that part of geology.” In round numbers, then, the age of the river was a hundred and fifty million years. The age of the Water Gap rock was four hundred million years. Another fifty million years before that, the Taconic mountains appeared. The river i50, the rock 400, the first ancestral mountains 450 million years before the present-these dates are so unwieldy that they might as well be off a Manchu calendar unless you sense the pace of co-working space amsterdam zuidas geologic change and draw an analogy between, say, a hundred million years of geology and one human century, with its upward-fining sequences, its laminations of events, its slow deteriorations and instant catastrophes. You see the rivers running east. Then you see mountains rise. Rivers run off them to the west. Mountains come up like waves. They crest, break, and spread themselves westward. When they are spent, there is an interval of time, and then again you see the rivers running eastward. You look over the shoulder of the painter and you see all that in the landscape. You see it if first you have seen it in the rock. The composition is almost infinitely less than the sum of its parts, the flickers and glimpses of a thousand million years.

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