Wednesday, January 23

edens and angels

there is a segment of Zion National Park called Angels Landing. this is the place I described seven years ago with such pre-emptive longing. all that one-thing-at-a-time intensity. snow-soaked jeans, scraped knuckles, uncertainty and persistence, hovering.

Angels Landing has some great memories attached to it.

I always wonder about its name. if it's supposed to be the landing that belongs to the angels, then why on earth is there no apostrophe there? if it belongs to one lovely angel, you'd want the signs at the park and the notes on the website to say Angel's Landing. or if a large contingent of angels shares this part of southern Utah, Angels' Landing. but we have neither of these.

so if the place doesn't belong to anyone... I can only presume that its name refers to some (perhaps ongoing) event, and that angels visit this ledge of red rock from time to time. there must have been angels landing there. or maybe there still are? or maybe that is just what you'd expect, and everyone is still waiting for the angels to land.

I suppose it's strange of me to think so much about the name of an 8-mile hiking trail.
{ photo borrowed from this kind soul on flickr. }

there is a country music group called Edens Edge that gives my restless brain similar fodder for asking pedantic questions. do we have here an Edge within (and therefore metaphorically possessed by) Eden? why not then call it Eden's Edge? the alternative--what a face-value interpretation of the band's name's orthographic representation gives us, anyway--makes less sense. is there more than one Eden? and if so, how does a plural entity have one edge? is it some kind of border? a precipice? both? I just don't know. does anyone?

perhaps we could directly confront these country musicians and ask them. did they forget the apostrophe in their name? or are they being extra interesting just for pedants like me? does it matter?

4 comments:

Nic S said...

People just don't know how to use apostrophes, I'm afraid. It's a global issue.

Chris said...

If I were reading it 'Edens edge' then 'edge' would be a verb. Like paradise getting just a little bit closer.

Edens edge with angels landing.

amelia chesley said...

woah. and there I was, not even thinking about the nonsense of personifying the place Eden into a thing that could edge. now there are more questions:
is it edging towards or away from something? or is it edging a blanket or an afghan? or... what?

Chris said...

It could be that the garden is, little by little, simply growing bigger.

Or country pop musicians could be bad at grammar.