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With the hot weather came the news that Shaibaq Khan was coming up into Ura-Tyube. Consequently, as the land is level about Dikhkat, we crossed the Ab-burdan pass into the Matcha hill-country. Ab-burdan is the last village of Matcha; just below it a spring sends its water down (to the Zarafshan); the area above the stream is part of Matcha; below it a dependency of Palghar. There is a tomb at the spring. I had a rock at the side of the spring shaped and these three couplets inscribed on it:
I have heard that Jamshid, the magnificent,
Inscribed on a rock at a spring.
Many men like us have taken breath at this spring,
And have passed away in the twinkling of an eye;
We took the world by courage and might,
But we could not take it with us to the grave.
–Z?hir ud-D?n Mu?ammad Babur (???? ???? ????), Baburnama (???? ????) bk ix (ca. 1530)
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Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”