Absolute Silence

There was an old man up there on the mountains near New Harmony. He had a long white beard, was missing a few teeth, but had the deepest gaze of any human being. He wouldn?t say a word, but he would wave, smile, and continue on in his routine. He lived in a parked trailer near the edge of a creek, and drove around in an old Chevy caked in mud. I never had the courage to go visit him, but he soon disappeared and I never saw him again. That canyon is now empty and quiet. When I go up in there, I only hear the elements, the sweet birds.

There are these reclusive types living all over the Great Basin, way out yonder where no tourist dares to venture without getting eaten by vultures. As I drive the old dirt roads across long basin valleys, ravens roost on fence lines and hover around juniper covered desert hills. It happens sporadically, but when I venture down some dirt road, I?m never surprised to cross paths with these people.

Yes, I may be very na?ve, or very rude in mentioning the private lives of these individuals, but I hope that isn?t the case. Their way of life sparks my deep curiosity… For me, the dirt road is my trail of beauty, and the quiet landscape is my home. Home is where deep dark cloud shadows pass over carved and painted wastelands. It’s not hard for me to fall asleep a hundred miles from any services, beneath the galactic sky. I am accepting the possibility that I may become a lone drifter to the hills. When I die, I?ll be the ghost that haunts the empty landscape.

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