[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…
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.”