There is the wind which may swirl through saplings and their parents and the tall grasses and dried flowers.
Bird wings flutter, mostly away. Scratchings and rustling beneath the lowest branches and in the thick brier. Delicate colors as in a painter’s palette, aside, muted and subdued in a landscape held back.
The memory flutters. The words choke well before reaching the tongue. So say nothing.
There are those memories of the autumnal winds when seasons turn upside down and the icy drama of the silver winter threads through the hollows between trees stirring last year’s brown leaves into a low ruckus and crackle. Thin and bare sycamore branches, delicate and bony, trace low and lonely moans in their dark choir. Pink sand from the nearby riverbed salted everywhere and anywhere; grit flecked in your hair, in your shoes, in your eyes. These are the days. These were the days. These are the heartfelt and kind memories of these days.
The shape of the Mojave is formed by everything that is not Mojave.
Ocean Woman rose naked from the sea. She became the mountains and valleys and glistened as she slept under the moon. She became awake as the sun rose and warmed her. That is what I heard.
Clouds pass by here, everything passes by; shadows, people. It is just desert. discord, strife, conflict, contention, Jangled trees in discord, sticks, twigs, gray plants that are most likely dead, not that they ever had a chance, or did they?
Patience, Brother. Listen to the raging and eroding wind–with its grit and dust–it will help you to know peace–that anger has no use for ascent.
We come to the desert by different paths at different times for various reasons, this is how the weaving begins. The weaving. The constant weaving and braiding and twisting and tying of stories and realities and things in between.
This is the land, too. One place becomes another gradually or immediately or maybe something or somehow in between. Everything is the same and everything is different and sometimes that is just by a little bit–little by little–until everything is different. The geology, the plants, and animals–the rare raindrops scattered about on the playa surface attacking the bare earth in numbers so large the washes do not understand the burden they are about to hide beneath. This is the desert.
Coyotes laughing. Rats that are cannibals. Lizards that spit venom. Carnivorous insects — I wish!
This is transformation upon transformation. Metamorphosis.
Painful youth with poignant memories newly scarred, not forgotten, but pushed aside. Here, however, one may clear themselves of the entanglements others twist around us, to distract us, to hamper us. We grow within our chosen realities here.
Time is multidimensional and multidirectional. We have our own time and we are within our time and be inside and outside at the same time. Our time is our time and others try to take that time from you for themselves. Each falls into and overlaps with the others.
We learn to leave it all behind. Luckily enough, alone.
There is the final question, I calculate–Really?
It seems to be a thousand years, now.
Laughing coyotes, brotherhood.
Observe the puzzle pieces we are assembled of, each moment of us can be examined from each particle separate or in context within the pieces that are made up of groups of pieces in a gradient fabric made in context within those around us and without. The bighorn sheep are also gregarious beasts.
All the while, the desert is art.
Break it all into pieces and look at the pieces.
Possibly unnoticed, we change and become a different creature, a different being.
You have to grow. There is no choice if you indeed exist. There will be two paths and you will take one, however, even if you took the other path you would end up where the first would go; over there.
At least you know that if not directly, there will be some kind of connection between this way and that way over there. There is nothing that says you will end up better if you go one way or the other–one way is neither right nor wrong–possibly–you will, however, end up where you are meant to be. That can be a horrible shame.
And over there, either way, will be the same thing repeated, only in a slightly different light
Sometimes you get out there to do what you do whatever it is you do when you are there but it just doesn’t look real and something is not quite right. Well, you are correct because nothing is quite right or real 100%, but what are you going to do? Cry?
Savan Navas examined himself in the mirror above the dresser. He studied himself; his eyes, his nose, and mouth. He studied the pores in his skin, character lines in his face; these were made from laughing, crying, and talking, and singing, living a full and enjoyable life. He looked good.
Savan completed his inspection and paused–then he watched himself turn around and walk out the door.
Savan was shocked. He froze. What did he just see himself do?
“Should I follow?” He smiled at the thought.
Leaving seemed easy enough–however, for some reason he could not remember ever leaving before.
“If I go, what do I do?
What is beyond the door? Where do I go? What do I do when I get there?”
Savan could not remember any of these things.
“Nowhere,” Savan thought. “Out there is nowhere.”
He was still looking straight into the mirror. He hadn’t moved a muscle.
He felt fear. Savan felt fear. It came up from behind, from a dark place that had always been there, off to the side, somehow. He was aware of this darkness–this was new to Savan.
His fear is not unfounded as he cannot remember anything more than what happened in the mirror. He had no memories.
Savan wondered if he may be the reflection.
It was a subtle agony that overtook him as he realized he may be nothing more than a reflection of a man, and this was his existence in total. If he turned around there may be nothing. This was the fear. Nothing. Fear nothing.
“What if I am the reflection and the real me left the room?
“Is this what happens every day? “
If it were his destiny, to be ephemeral, he fretted, he may cease to exist once he turned, looked away to move to the door on his side of the glass–to try to leave the room and face a future.
Since he could not recall a past there was nothing, and he could not imagine a future without a past to gauge it by.
Still, he felt cold and empty.
“Do I exist at this exact moment?”
“Certainly, I do not exist to the me that left the apartment.”
To have doubts that you are here or just this fleeting spark of thought, a neurologic activity that jumps through space as particles of energy–a reflection.
As long as I am conscious of my reality I am real. I am looking into the mirror and not seeing my reflection which may indicate that if I look away (turn around) I may no longer be capable of maintaining my reality and that I am the ephemeral reflection.
Or will I be able to walk through that door into an uncertain reality, a future, and live from this point forward free of preconceptions and learned behavior?
Savan turns to leave the room.
Is it real? Without Savan there may well be no room, no door, no mirror.
Savan has slipped into nothingness. He had no idea where he went in reality–when he walked out that door–however, now, this may not have happened at all.
I believe it misleading when looking out over the broad plains and shallow valleys; that it appears nearly lifeless. This, however, is how survival looks. A lot is going on out there; birds, lizards, rats, rabbits, and snakes. It depends on the season. Some varmints only come out at night. All come out to eat–some to be eaten. The tussles and killings are kept discrete and as quiet as possible so as not to disturb the next meal, now searching for its food in the crevices between the rocks and hollows of the cactus plants. Every single thing dies. Out there, every single thing dies bravely, without fear–we imagine.
This is Lake Tuendae (to be beheld) at the Desert Studies Center, Zzyzx. In the center of the lake is an island with a fountain. The name of the island in Enrico Caruso Island.
Enrico Caruso Island is named Enrico Caruso Island in honor of Enrico Caruso but not Enrico Caruso the famous singer but the Enrico Caruso who built Enrico Caruso Island was named for the legendary Enrico Caruso and named it Enrico Caruso Island for himself.