Red Intoxication

Cloud shadows ascend castling red cliffs. I’m beneath those sailing clouds as they travel the dense blue sky. The red desert is infinite to my measly existence. Traveling down highway 89, across Dinetah, I cannot keep my eyes off the desert landscape of tall cliffs, sandstone stairways, and thick bedrock. Little Hogans stand beneath large rock faces, and steep inclines that cast their dark shadows. It’s not necessarily the geology of Northern Arizona that steals my breath, nor the process of how the Navajo Sandstone was formed, or how the Moenkopi formation came to be, or how the Painted Desert could’ve once been a tropical beach… It’s the immediate beauty of the land, and the blood and beat of silence out there. I think of the geology, and it is truly astounding, but the timelessness of Navajoland is the prime intoxicator. I’m hopelessly attracted to the beauty of the Colorado Plateau and these quiet places. It is a privilege.

I know a joy that I cannot expect others to feel. It is religious, and spiritual. It’s the beauty of Mother Earth. There are so many out there, that don’t really care about beauty. In fact, it can stare at them in the face, and they would only see something to exploite.

In the end, the desert is where I’ll die, where coyotes and other cuddly varmints can feed on my entrails, after my children and loved ones dump my old carcass in the boonies. My skull can bleach in the afternoon sun and the sand will dance in my empty eye sockets. My digested flesh will course the blood vessels of wily coyotes and in the winged raptors that plane the turquoise blue. This should be so simple to understand, yet it is so impossible to get across to people. But again, some don’t care and they never will. Please keep me from the coffin, and to all Mormons: If I get resurrected, not a hair on my head will be lost, according to god’s promise! So I don’t need some cemetery, although my loved ones are important to me.

The trees, the sky, the wilderness, sings! The landscape is inseparable. You cannot pull me from its tremendousness!

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