There are two types of aerial voyeurs, those who envision themselves flying over the surface of the earth and those who envision themselves flying around the earth…it may seem a minor distinction, but the difference may yield two very different perspectives…They are the perspectives of the orbiter and the surveyor. The surveyor studies the topography and the position of roads, paths, or valleys, constantly orienting himself and thinking about the relationship of spaces, envisioning the map…forever captivated by the landscape, the minute details providing intrigue and guiding his investigations. Meanwhile, the orbiter keeps his eye on the aerial horizon, sensing the motion of his craft in subtle contrast to the motion of the earth, breathing in the cold air that surrounds him, feeling a chill as sunlight peeks over the horizon, scintillating the particles of moisture and dust that drift in the troposphere, and finding solace in the deepening indigo that slowly fills the sky as he rounds the edges of twilight into night…two senses of wonder, two senses of awe, one glorious planet seen through different eyes and emotions.
A line of trees emerges from the stony edifice, mediating the nexus of earth and heaven. Indiscernible needles wave freely in the morning breeze, clutching at the sky while their supporting cambial structures hold fast to the ridge line. A constructive tension between elements and textures, light and dark, up and down.
Tiny rivulets of water trickle toward the Colorado River, joining its flow through the high desert, seeking the sea, carving pathways in the earth that shape the landscape for all time…Little things lead to big things. We wander along the way, leaving footprints, flotsam, and jetsam in our wake…we send ripples across the surface of calm waters, echoes into the night, and twisted vortices into the ether…every motion leaving a trace, whether seen or unseen. And with these big motions come little noises, our words stream from our mouths whether connected to our soulful intents or driveling the mindless nonsense of propaganda and slurs…all these little noises drift on the breeze and tell our stories. Stop. Listen. What emanations do we want to leave lingering after we are gone? For what do we wish to be remembered? Little words and acts of kindness or little words and acts of malice? Little things lead to big things.
The paradox of a landscape is that we often can’t understand the landscape because of the overwhelming effect of the details and in turn we can’t comprehend the details due to the overwhelming visual effect of the landscape…but here at Bryce Canyon, a meandering line of hoodoos emerges, defining the contours of earth, drawing us into the details of the landscape…hoodoos, trees, ridges, valleys, dry creek beds, Navajo sandstone, and snow. The textures are articulated in such a way that we can perceive the power of each brushstroke while marveling at the beauty of the painted earthen canvas.
I’ve always yearned for feel of wind in my hair… it is the single sensation of speed that leads, pulls, draws me toward flight and a physical feeling of a connection to the winds that lifts us into the air. As a child, I pursued it…now I dream of it, feeling the wind in my hair as it pounds the other side of the glass…speed, flight, and freedom.
[A Retrospective] Tséyíkʼáán. The fate of stone is to be laid bare by wind and rain, each feature exaggerated by these effects in time. Its essence exposed by advancing light as the dark ragged edges of night draw slowly across its face…Rising from earth into the light, but forever defined by shadow.
Pitch me to the sky and I will forever be a dreamer, filled with the elation that comes from being lifted on the breeze, moving through a world of light and color, touching the heavens without earthly tether. Introduce the dream of flight to a child and they will be forever free. Whether in their dreams or in their reality, a new way of imagining the world evolves and they will see the world differently…imagine floating above a field, flexing and stroking the air as bird on the wing, drifting and circling, moving ever faster…they are weightless, boundless, and free.