▲ Tunguska Impact, 1908.

And the Lord said, “you who gained such great voices do not dwell safe in the world!”

His vision and his sword fell upon the land and the ground shook and trembled for days, the bleached bones of cities laid bare. The mighty were blinded and dizzied with bright light, and deafened by a terrible killing thunder.

We took to the hills, gathering still blue water in old glass bottles, hunting the few deer that remained, planting what seeds would grow without summer. All survivors are bound in pain and strewn in sorrow. No one knows how many remain outside these thick timber walls, whether the world now hosts more than an invisible procession of the lost.

My son — your father — threw himself eagerly into night patrols until we found his carcass, bones picked clean. This was his knife and this his bow. They are the talismans I bestow to you, for I will go soon to the earth, where dead men should go… and, with luck, stay.

This entry is part of my journal, published January 15, 2014, in New York.