Saturday, March 28, 2009

Desert and the Polar Opposite


DSC_0233, originally uploaded by Little Box.

Maybe it's not exactly polar opposite, but coming back to Bellingham after 8 days in Moab wasn't exactly pleasant. I was desperately in need of some new scenery, some fresh thoughts and a chance to come back to a place I missed instead of hated. As much as Bellingham is impossible to be in sometimes, it felt good to come home (even amongst the soggy skies and bad drivers). But my trip gave me exactly what I hoped it would, and now I'm working on some journals channelling Maira Kalman to try and put words and pictures to the task of describing the dreamscape I woke up in for a week.

The trip was bizarre, mostly because it was so foreign and I was constantly learning new things about the landscape. The scale of the mountains and cliffs were impossible to judge since you could see miles in every direction. Distances looked dwarfed, trees stunted, rock faces undaunting (until you found yourself at their foothills). Inclines I wouldn't dream of climbing were surprisingly easy to shimmy up, sandstone was warm and welcoming. The rock structures seemed like celebrity houses- surprise succulent gardens grew zenlike out of rock that looks inhabitable, natural staircases and handrails weave luxuriously through the terrain. Caves and natural rock sculptures dot the landscape and art is everywhere; hundreds of differently textured rock slabs lay haphazardly along the ground, recalling the days that this desert was an ocean and ripples and waterdrops etched permanent into sandstone.

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