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People and Patterns

I visited several National Parks over the summer, along with millions of other people. Wherever I went, I heard about the crowds. I got there early, for the most part. But still, people were everywhere. Here in Utah, at The Arches, I decided to put people in the landscape. We are so used to taking our surroundings for granted, that when we are in these magical places, what we see takes us out of ourselves.

People in Arch small

Person in arch small

The Hopi Indians considered these arches to be sacred, portals to spiritual dimensions. Something of that lingers for the tourist.

In these awesome patterns of the earth, we see something … something for which there are no words. … something vital to our spirit. Putting humans into a landscape that’s 150 million years old provides perspective.

People and Rocks small

Person in cave 2 small

People between rocks small

Adding an observer makes it a moment.

Arches 9 small

Person in arch 1 small

A moment we can understand. 150 million years, not so much.

 

 

Random Thoughts

Glacier Park is a brutal landscape. The force required to scrape out those canyons through solid rock almost can’t be imagined. But there it is. Raw power. Changing the shape of the planet. Extending the scale of things.

Glacier rock 1 small

In my imagination, I try to see all this sedimentary rock being compressed under a vast ocean, as it was for millions of years. I am more than 6600 feet up. I can’t do it. My mind won’t bend that far.

Glacier rock 3 small

This is the dimension of the formation of planets, of stars bursting and galaxies being formed. On this scale, I am beyond microscopic. From this dimension, I am just an idea.

Hidden Lake small

Wildfires have draped a veil of smoke over the Northwest. Going-to-the-Sun Highway has become Going-to-the-Haze Highway. Fortunately, I did find some sun, but the sky was never the deep blue one looks for up here. Shit happens. These random factors – fire, floods and earthquakes – force Nature to adapt. Evolution depends on it.

Smokey Dawn small

And there’s water everywhere. Walls along the highway appear to be weeping. Falling down the mountain, water chatters and gurgles down the path of least resistance, pulling life to the path it wears away. Friendly. But it was mile-wide glaciers that carved out the valleys for the lakes at either end of Going-to-the-Sun road, across continental divide.

Going to the Sun highway small

Going to the Sun Highway

It was frozen water that tore off the sides of some of these mountains, exposing millions of years of history. On earth, water eventually wins.

Virginia Falls small

In an odd way, I feel like I belong out here. I am a part of something larger. I don’t feel that way in the city. The contours of the city, the concrete and steel, don’t flow through my senses like life up here does. Here my mind flows. In the city, my mind gets bashed, from one corner to the next.

St Mary Falls small

St. Mary Falls

There is a time for mind-bashing. One has to take care of business. But out here is where we belong … in a landscape that calls to the minerals in our bodies … where every breath feels precious and every day is different.