The southwest landscape has established camp within my senses. When I get out of my car at the end of a long commute at the end of a longer day I stand for a few moments and my mind’s eye pulls out and gains the crow’s perspective and I see myself standing in a land wider and more vast than an entire lifetime of dreams. When I make love I see myself driving a fast car down a long stretch of desert highway lined in sagebrush toward a distant set of mountains. When I dream of a place of my own, I see a round house sheltered by pine and illuminated by a half moon hanging gently in a massive sky.
What does it mean to make the most out of living? This is a question that I have struggled with my entire life to date and one that I anticipate will always be around. What does it mean to take full advantage of place and time? I have not spent a full night among the stars in the months since moving onto the mesa. Instead I take it in doses, like medicine. I preach to my internal congregation about the necessity of nature and my connection to it. But at the end of my days I follow instead the routine of shutting myself in and turning up the distractions.
This is because the land strips me bare. There is a stillness and space here that has found it’s way into my soul and forced a reckoning. The endless quiet presents a platform for the players in my head to stage an elaborate and dramatic tragedy. I have never felt a quiet as palpable as this. In fact, I have never felt quiet before. It has always been an auditory sensation and nothing else. But here, among the miles of nothing I can actually feel the still like space between my bones and it is changing me. If it is possible I believe that I am simultaneously becoming the most important and the least important person in my own life. I am all that there is and I can not see the world through any set of eyes other than the blue ones placed permanently in my head. I can only feel with these fingers and listen with these ears. Yet, I am nothing. A mote of dust among 1,000 acres of sagebrush.