[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…
The Earth does not belong to us, but its mysteries are a part of us. To protect the thin and mysterious places on earth is to protect ourselves from the darkest capacities of the human heart and to present an undisturbed place to dream, marvel, wonder, or simply imagine a world alive and unmolested by avarice and desire. The Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument is one such place…to diminish it, in anyway, reveals the worst in us, cleaving a hole in the delicate protective shield of the Antiquities Act, and breaks faith with our purpose of tending to the earth and rejoicing in its creation.
Please contact your elected officials and tell them to defend the Antiquities Act.
[A retrospective] Drifting on an earthen sea, free-floating stone faces twist and turn, following the sun as its radiant waves sweep across the valley, stirring currents in the sand, warming the air, and unleashing rolling winds to animate the heavens.
[A Retrospective] The Davenport bridge spans the Mississippi River…As we flow over the river and through the woods on another Thanksgiving Day, our thoughts go out to other travelers and those who bear the solemn responsibility of ensuring our safe travels upon the skies. Safe travels and many happy reunions.
[A retrospective] Vectoring, guiding, forcing, eroding…Earth moves in all directions at a rate that cannot be measured by human memory. The artifacts of motion are clear, but the dynamic expression of kinetic energy consumed by that motion is an abstract concept as we observe the earth and accept that what we see “has always been this way.” Most people look upon the earth and share a sense of awe, but it has always been the curious and the imaginative that look deeper to understand the past and, so, predict the future…We are blessed with the intellectual curiosity to ponder the evolution of earth and organism, to recognize that “what is” evolved from “what was,” to apply the lessons of science to become better stewards of Earth. As we look upon the curved forms of rock formations in the desert of Grand Canyon Parashant, we see a template at rest in the middle of time…the graceful curves were formed by forces that are present, but not evident…to trace these curves, we begin to illustrate the history of Earth and we imagine what the future may hold…What happens next? What role will we play? Will we be the force that builds mountains or that which erodes the richness of our landscape? That role is undecided, but I know that I will stand with the curious and imaginative in not settling for “what has always been” as they strive toward what “may be.”
[A retrospective] …Looking back on earth passing slowly beneath us, cast in a monochromatic seasonal hue of blue…We perceive the terrain of Capitol Reef under a blanket of white snow, yet the essence of blue reveals itself in the cyan infused shadows…where there is blue, there is contour and motion in the landscape…the secret is hidden in the color, revealed in the morning light…the irony of rejuvenation masked by starkness, water and light bringing life to an arid planet.
Whether on the rim, weak-kneed by our proximity to the void that separates us from the dimensionless landscape below, or sitting comfortably in the back seat of an airliner eight miles above, flowing confidently through that same void, we marvel at the fluid power of earth to alter reality and perception…still farther away, the sun teases us with light and shadow, forever confusing our senses and making earth seem anew as her colors change with the varying wavelengths of light and the variable density of the atmosphere…In this place we momentarily comprehend that all that surrounds us is an illusion.
If all that is below the horizon is an illusion… and all that lies above is a dream… Our waking souls are lost in the curious confusion of earthly shadows and light floating above the level plain of the desert floor.
With a flick of a vaporous tail, the arid desert of the Great Basin stirs, uplifting air and water in a swirl of activity, unsettling the skies and kicking up sand, the tail end of the desert monsoon season..Mares’ tails foretell a change in the weather, an unsettling, instability…we feel a few bumps overhead, but things are still calm as we pass by and we revel in the beauty of this seasonal chaos.
The Colorado flows past the Rincon, but doesn’t visit anymore…the ancient course of meandering water, now a dry monument, hovering in the wings of the river’s stage, awaiting a global shift or a rising sea to rejoin the show at center stage.