Monday, February 27, 2012

Out There

Life has taken me away from this particular blog space, and I've decided to jump back in, to the now, the end of February, 2012.

I have read little of Edward Abbey's works, and I've decided it's high time I started.  So as of late, I've taken to reading E.A. at night before bed, and I dive into the desert via Desert Solitaire. I'm transported through voice to the world of cacti and Pinyon Pine, Juniper, Yucca, and rattle snakes dancing in collective sexual euphoria. I've never been privy reptilian mating habits, but I can imagine it would be quite an experience. In any case, reading Abbey is a great way to transition from waking life to my life in dreams.

In 1956, Ed Abbey spent a summer working as a ranger in a little National Park in southeastern Utah called Arches. Although still little, Arches is now not little known, and has changed, for better or worse, from the secluded desert oasis Abbey wrote about. He compiled his journals into a book, then dubbed Desert Solitaire, which was published with a modest following in 1968. Abbey's words resonate with me, not because they are the benediction of a self-proclaimed "nature lover", but because he captures, nay, demands our attention to the wild places, much akin to a scorpion stinging to protect his beloved home.

The following exemplifies this spirit:

"A weird, lovely, fantastic object out of nature like Delicate Arch has the curious ability to remind us-like rock and sunlight and wind and wilderness-that out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours, a world which surrounds and sustains the little world of men as sea and sky surround and sustain a ship. The shock of the real. For a little while we are again able to see, as the child sees, a world of marvels. For a few moments we discover that nothing can be taken for granted, for if this ring of stone is marvelous then all which shaped it is marvelous, and our journey here on earth, able to see and touch and hear in the midst of tangible and mysterious things-in-themselves, is the most strange and daring of all adventures."

The following photos, capture the mystery and take me to the out there even when I'm in here. 

Somewhere in the Desert on the Pacific Crest Trail

Bishop Pass, CA 
Joshua Tree National Park 
Zion National Park, Utah
Big Basin State Park, CA 
Sequoia National Park
North Cascades National Park, WA

Photos attributed to Jacob P. Gallagher.