The Canyon Country
of southeastern Utah,
with huge twisting canyons, weird spires
and arches, Native American relics,
and desert …  
















Overcome fear, behold wonder.                                Richard Bach



Under the desert sun, in that dogmatic clarity, the fables of theology and the myths of classical philosophy dissolve like mist. The air is clean, the rocks cuts cruelly into flesh; shatter the rock and the odor of flint rises to your nostrils, bitter and sharp. Whirlwinds dance across the salt flats, a pillar of dust by day; the thornbush breaks into flame at night. What does it mean? It means nothing. It is as it is and has no need for meaning. The desert lies beneath and soars beyond any possible human qualification. Therefore, sublime.                                 Edward Abbey



Dutton describes a process of westernization of the perceptions that has to happen before the West is beautiful to us. You have to get over the color green; you have to quit associating beauty with gardens and lawns; you have to get used to an inhuman scale; you have to understand geological time.                                                                                                                         Wallace Stenger



Odd that in this universe where maybe nothing is divine except what’s missing, our last few desert places seem profoundly blessed by what isn’t there. We now feel that truly to bring forth the fruit of such terrain is to agree that its silence and space are unimprovable. We say so any time we answer its hush with an attentive stillness, one wide and deep as respect. Reg Saner



A couple of turkey vultures float toward me with that sidling motion they have …
Maybe they know something? If I were Anasazi, or even Pueblo, I would know that they do. If I were Anasazi, I’d know this arid land to be teeming with spirits.
Reg Saner



What animals could live in such a place?

Could ANYTHING live in such a place?



The finest quality of this stone, these plants and animals, this desert landscape is the indifference manifest to our presence, our absence, our coming, our staying or our going. Whether we live or die is a matter of absolutely no concern whatsoever to the desert.                                                       Edward Abbey



From juniper, as from many another life that water takes on in deserts, I learn the trick of surviving even technology: “Be a tree not worth cutting down.”                         Reg Saner



Finally, there is this: one morning four ravens sat at the edge of the desert waiting for the sun to rise. They had been there all night and the dew was like beads of quicksilver on their wings. Their eyes were closed and they were as still as the cracks in the desert floor.

The wind came off the snow-capped peaks to the north and ruffled their breath feathers. Their talons arched in the white earth and they smoothed their wings with sleek, dark bills. At first light, their bodies swelled and their eyes flashed purple. When the dew dried on their wings they lifted off from the desert floor and flew away in four directions. Crows would never have had the patience for this.

Barry Lopez, “The Raven”