.“Christ is contingency,” I tell M. as we cross the railroad tracks and walk down the dusty main street of this little town that is not the town where I was raised but both reassuringly and disconcertingly reminiscent of it: the ramshackle resiliency of the buildings around the square; Spanish rivering right next to rocklike English, the two fusing for a moment into a single dialect then splitting again; cowboys with creekbed faces stepping determinedly out of the convenience store with sky in their eyes and twelve-packs in their arms. I have spent the past four weeks in solitude, working on these little prose fragments that seem to be the only thing I can sustain, trying day and night to “figure out” just what it is I believe, a mission made more urgent by the fact that I have recently been diagnosed with an incurable but unpredictable cancer. How strange it is to be back in this place, where visible distance is so much a part of things that things acquire a kind of space, an otherness, a nowhere-ness, as if even the single scrub cedar outside the window where I’m working holds—in its precise little limbs, its assertive seasonless green—the fact of its absence. . to be continued… . ♦♦♦ There is an interview of Christian Wiman from 2007 at the blog Kaurab Online.