“Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late!”
“…at this moment of time, all mankind is us…“
The vast emptiness was heavy, weighty. My lofty expectations, my bike, my speed, all swallowed up in a mocking eternity. I like to think that back to back rides on the White Rim is something significant. But the land itself chuckles at my indolence. “You have not seen even the beginning” it whispers. “You are only wind, come and gone. I am timeless.”
“What shall we name those four unnamed formations standing erect above this end of The Maze?
Why call them anything at all? asks Waterman; why not let them alone?
Through naming comes knowing; we grasp an object, mentally, by giving it a name – hension, prehension, apprehension. And thus through language create a whole world, corresponding to the other world out there. Or we trust that it corresponds. Or perhaps, like a German poet, we cease to care, becoming more concerned with the naming than with the things named; the former becomes more real than the latter. And so in the end the world is lost again. No, the world remains – those unique, particular, incorrigibly individual junipers and sandstone monoliths – and it is we who are lost. Again. Round and round, through the endless labyrinth of thought – the maze.”
An urge to return to the desert has already taken root. I feel compelled to be once again, insignificant. To be dwarfed by the rising walls, the steady river, and the constant wind. To feel alone and small, and yet, determined and powerful. For while I am nothing in the vast spaces of the canyon country, I nevertheless feel as if I am everything. And everywhere. I am assaulted on every level with the joy of being in the desert. The paradox of the canyon country.
The acuteness of the pain that comes from this sort of endeavor is gone as quickly as it appears. That is, left only now are the faded images of my surroundings. The millions of years of winded sculpture, the slowly churning rivers, the smiling faces of friends. The glorious vision of the sag wagon, carrying icy, caffeinated ecstasy in a bottle.