In this photo of my grandmother standing in the woods in fall, which I think my father took to characterize his mother as an ancient guardian woman of the forest, she stands in the distance all stoic and surrounded by orange fallen leaves and skeleton branches holding a long stick that looks like a spear. I remember countless hours walking along paths with her just like the one she’s on here. She’d help me find centipedes whenever I turned over logs looking for them, and was always careful to remind me to put the log back just the way it was so the giant wouldn’t disturb nature too much. She’d pick wild wintergreen and sour grass and berries and look at me, and, placing the leaves or berries in her mouth, begin to chew like a rabbit, and say between her twiggy lips that I should chew like her, the way a mother models for her child how to eat baby food. We’d dry tree fungus in the sun and write letters to one another on their velvety undersides, a practice that, to this day, seems so profound to me, it equally comforts and terrifies me to even think about it, almost as much as this pic does, in the way that, like a Viking seer it seems to optimistically advise that talking to an image of the dead is the same as talking to myself.