Journal entry, May18th, 7:14
North : 35 59 52.5
West : 111 59 18.4
I try to still my thoughts. I want to find this moment, be in it. Still, i feel compelled to take a photo to save this. To throw a rock to gage the depth. To make an inukshuk and leave a mark. To... write a blog...?
Seriously, what can you do with such a big canyon? I'm overcome by the urge to make something of this feeling and this place that i can take with me, that I can come back to and share.
I stop writing and just stare. Is this the moment? Did I just ruin it? Hmm, I still have half a granola bar don't I? No, I ate that in Cedar Ridge.
And the wind jostles me, makes me cold. I want to be still - just be - like the canyon. But shivers make me tuck the back of shirt in, zip my riding jacket. Even if i could quiet my thoughts, there's still the unavoidable practicalities - cold, hunger, thirst. Loneliness? No, it wouldn't do to have company right now.
Even the tourists up on the hill are - Is that guy taking a picture of me?!
But then it started - I think. The thing that keeps popping up in my unsilenceable mind is the time-fullness of this place. The layers of sediment are so pronounced one cannot but ponder the inponderabliilty of this kind of time. 1.8 Billion years! What does that even mean? Thoughts like this re-emerge incessantly (and apparently lead me to make up words like "inponderabliity"). I cannot be like this canyon because I am like the river, jostling and churning, down below. Maybe that is our lot in - no, the lot of - life. Maybe only in death can we be this way, hard, cold but beautiful. Our living life is busy and never truly still. In death the river dries up and leaves only the impression of how the river had moved, changed the stone. With any luck, it will be like this, long and wide and a place where new life can grow and live and move in it. Plants grow like legends. Insects and geckos are historians. The hawks are just myths.
Up here at the top this
is what's so impossible to internalize. the message is lost on me. I stand and a strong gust of wind nearly topples me - a warning: you do not belong up here. The of this cliff was hewn by a river which fed things foreign to my world. Way down there hundreds of feet below at the top of the narrow crevasses there's a layer that belongs to the dinosaurs. One a bit further down that marks the beginning of the age of mammalia. And way down, at the rivers edge, evidence of the last ice age - the dawn of man.
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