Friday, August 13, 2004

The American Southwest

Bryce Canyon, Utah Posted by Hello

When I see the wonders of the southwestern terrain, I am deeply humbled. The enormity and overwhelming beauty of the deep canyons leaves me speechless. The complex structure of the rock formations tell stories of time, endurance, and people who have been on this continent much longer than any of my own ancestors.

My friend, photographer, Elizabeth Siegfried , composed a series of photographs and archival images entitled A Sense of Place. For her, home is the cottage get-away her ancestors built over one hundred years ago near Algonquin Park in Ontario. To sit on the side of the lake and gaze across the water brings back memories of people both familiar and unfamiliar to her. The sensation of knowing a place so intimately is to be connected to the grand scheme of things, or, as some call it, the circle of life.

Although I have no far reaching history to connect me to the southwestern landscape, somehow my spirit resides there. A feeling of reverence and respect for a place, where precarious weather and heat make life an ongoing struggle, stay with me. Light and dark, heat and coolness, downpour and draught, nothing escapes notice in a landscape devoid of clutter and superficiality. There is an honesty about the desert that I am drawn to, an unapologetic need to survive in the eyes of all canyon dwelling species.

When I reflect upon pictures and memories of my childhood in Utah, or my later years in Arizona, I know I will some day return. On a visceral level, my need to be there is an ache that I cannot avoid forever. There is a lesson there I have yet to learn. And when I return, I hope to have the people I love with me, sharing in the wonder and beauty of this magical place.

jane_crow, desert dreaming again


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