Ed Abbey is gone now, died among friends, buried in his beloved desert, and, no doubt, soaring above, looking down from "a serene and considerable height." Though his body is mostly gone, his deep and poignant voice stilled, he lives on in those of us who remember him, in his books, video and audio tapes of his work.
Ed was both ahead of his time and a man of the past, straddling that narrow line between the "Good Old Days" and the Future Primitive. He grew up living simply, of necessity, saw the destruction and rape of the wild during the height of industrial development in the arid West. He dealt with his horror and frustration by writing about it (and by drinking while he was writing), working out in his creativity scenarios he never dared to attempt in life.
As with all us Homo sapiens, Ed was a mass of contradictions, weaknesses, foibles, and deeply buried, mostly unknowable internal impulses and urges. Unlike most of us, Ed was honest about his internal life, baring it all on the pages of his many writings.
So long, Compadre. Soar high.