Again and again and again, I return to the lure of the desert. There is no other place so stark & empty: such a source for the unimaginable. It is a place where the intangible invokes the strange and incomprehensible. It is a place where silence reveals everything you have ever heard or thought you could. It is a place where the mind races trying to navigate through all the possibilities beyond its reach. The desert is the other world.
The desert is an archive of memories. The heat and distance of mountains & rocks store everything you have ever thought or desired. The light bakes your dreams until they emerge like haunted apparitions floating over the vast space. The desert is a palette containing hidden, illusive motifs just beyond one’s grasp, just outside of the real: in the realm of the virtual and pure imagination. That’s why you take the time to slowly walk across the desert floor, it’s a good place to be well outside of what you know and think.
Fissures etched into the textured desert floor reveal outlines of past journeys, perhaps even distant lives. These outlines are like narratives you can’t quite place, or narratives you have tried to articulate, narratives that never quite made it into the story. The desert is far too complex for our mortal brain, it requires a form of supernatural power to comprehend what it has to say: so you just walk & walk & walk to catch a fleeting instance of its meaning.
Looking out across the desert landscape, you might think of it is as a vast wasteland of dry nothingness. But when you look more closely, the desert comes alive. The desert reveals itself on a microscopic level, requiring that you make the effort to look, take notice. This is a radical departure from our everyday life moving at the speed of light, where everything moves invisibly to the blinded eye. In the desert, you are forced to slow down, catch the epic pace of the environment, until you begin to see what you have never seen before.
That in short, is the lure of the desert return. It invites us again & again into a world we might otherwise avoid: a world made for listening, watching, engaging the senses through the subtle intensity of light and shadow, rather then the loud seduction of the the media drama with its fabricated, sensational message. In the desert, the drama is contained in the stillness, in the slow movement of the sun, the clatter of insects, the changing color & heat that triggers and activates the mind.