The Epochal Stonecutter
The landscaping of our planet happens in two ways…one way is additive while the other is subtractive…the additive process can be observed daily in the slow but constant violent molten churn of minor volcanoes along the Pacific Rim, but a more subtle and slow subtractive process is at work in the heart of North America. No Man’s Mesa in southern Utah provides us with a glimpse into the process. This great mesa stands out from the high desert with its steep cliff faces and deep shadows providing a sense of its dimension. The San Juan River runs around it to the north and from its path we can imagine the historic flow of water acting on the landscape to trim and erode the face of earth and stone…turning mountains to mesas to buttes to lone pinnacles…patiently carving and crafting…the ultimate epochal stonecutter practicing its art on the irregular plain. Wind and gravity also play their parts, but water is the master of this patient evolution.