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The rock that flows

The flow of phyllite. Harpers Ferry, March 2023. The ghost sign on the face of Maryland Heights, visible when you're standing in the historic town of Harpers Ferry , West Virginia, read "Mennen’s Borated Talcum Toilet Powder." Not a very elegant product to grace a cliff, I thought as I sipped my smoothie at an outdoor cafe and gazed across the Potomac River at the fading letters. The juxtaposition of natural grandeur with stark consumerism both amused and exasperated me. What uniquely human hubris to say, "Why yes, the best use of our time and effort right now is to climb this ancient mountain, blast its side off, and put the name of a toiletry on it in paint that won't ever wash off." An hour or so earlier, my husband and I had been standing above that sign, having hiked up the Maryland Heights Trail to join fellow tourists in their overlooking and selfie-taking. Now, we were back in town to rest and refuel—an objective overall for a much-needed weekend a

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