[A retrospective] Two of my favorite words, for love of the concepts and implications, are “circuitous” and “serendipity.” Perhaps, as my old squadron mates might say, they are twenty-five cent words, but they are connected, meaningful, and especially relevant to our lives among the clouds…We follow a meandering path, adjusting for the airborne currents and blowing gales as we challenge gravity and Coriolis forces. Just as a river twists through the high desert seeking its way to the sea, following a circuitous path as it etches it’s story upon the earth, with each turn a new experience is engrained upon our consciousness as though simultaneously by chance and by fate…the force of serendipity. In these sublime moments, we chance to encounter beauty and we flow through it as if we were meant to be a part of it.
[A Retrospective] Earth rising in a great upheaval, the result of invisible conflicts…pressure and resistance…collision and dispersion. A seemingly static representation of epochal motion displayed upon the canvas of the high desert of Utah.
[A Retrospective] Volcanic dikes criss-cross the landscape at the foot of the Spanish Peaks in northeast New Mexico, creating a texture of rigid, straight line patterns across otherwise rolling hillsides. A dusting of snow accentuates the grave lines and leaves us with a sense of premeditation in the landscape.
[A Retrospective] As though the visualization of short bursts of sonorous tones, the sand dunes align in rhythmic strands, sharply rising before cresting and falling onto the Sonoran Desert floor. Each strand a separate song, its substance variable and subject to the whimsy of the breeze…This elegant rhythm echoes into the atmosphere above where we revel in the incongruity of its silence.
[A Retrospective] Following the vagaries of the landscape’s hues, yellow ochre transitions to burnt sienna, displayed along the dark fractal edges of extruded earth, rising and falling like memories of ancient tidal flows. A solitary ribbon of reflected light gently twists through the Goblin Valley…a smooth, one dimensional, shimmering line flowing molten through the desert…Light’s reflection and absorption defined in the starkness of the Utah desert.
[A retrospective] The seasons of earth are but jitters in the advancing second hand of an eternal clock displayed to our experience in color and evolving climes as the planet turns and wobbles. The color of earth is not a monochrome…light dances on everything in our world as we interpret the changing moods of the dancer…colors, like ideas, may be smothered and covered, but the spirit pervades and the colors of earth are irrepressible, radiating emotively through the drapes of dour seasons.
[A Retrospective] Sometimes conflict in our lives seems to come out of nowhere…unprepared we fixate on the bumps and distractedly look down, losing sight of the steady and constant horizon in the distance. Recognizing the temporary nature of this sort of turbulence is essential to coping with it…just as with the effect of heating the surface of the earth, hot air yields increased pressure as it rises in isolation, creating rolling pockets of dissimilar air, before dissipating in the atmosphere above, eventually vanishing as it runs out of energy…a few bumps here and there, but in the end, the natural state is smooth air…As long as we stay cool, don’t look down, and focus on the horizon, any rough patches will pass and we will be left with only memories of our disquiet and the thrill of riding it out.
“You better not look down
If you want to keep on flyin’
Put the hammer down
Keep it full speed ahead
You better not look back
Or you might just wind up cryin’
You can keep it movin’
If you don’t look down”
~B.B. King, “Better Not Look Down” (Chorus)
[A Retrospective] When light first kisses the atmosphere at local dawn, the vapor suspended in the atmosphere illuminates, revealing the colors of earth as the warming begins. And with that warming comes the wind…whispering across the planet as the warming crust gives a voice to light. It beckons. It calls. It teases. You can be weightless…you can be still…you can be hot…you can be cold. You can fly.
[a retrospective] We all wear mantles. Some of birth, some of profession, some of aspiration. When we shed these clothes and reduce ourselves to the elements that make us who we are, not what we are, we find solace in our every breathing moment. These elements connect our fantastical sense-filled childhood dreams with the reality of our world… all can be reduced to celestial light and the air that surrounds and supports us. Keeping our eyes toward the light that illuminates the pathway ahead, we remain mindful of the opacity of the shadows we cast and seek to reflect more light than we obscure.
[A Retrospective] Seen from afar, all things look smooth and graceful…Approach closer and we find that all things have rough edges. It’s a simple truth that applies to every physical thing…Our proximity dictates our understanding. Shortly after the moment of realization, when our perception mirrors reality, we recognize that the rough edges of time and experience define character and demonstrate beauty in its most natural form…The humanity of Earth is revealed along its edges…