Certainty doesn’t exist in this world.
The only certainty is the emptiness.
It is a world full of fluttering leaves, falling to the ground with no purpose or direction or aim.
Words have no meaning in this world.
Action determines all, but even action is followed by interpretation, and interpretation is the antonym of certainty.
Everyone is striving to hear certainty here.
We all want something or someone to come down from the clouds and tap us on the shoulder and say,
“everything is going to be alright.”
In this world, there is no water for the fire.
It can only burn until its all done burning. Nobody will put it out before nature takes its course.
Here, darkness can’t be remedied by light.
Darkness is light.
The day only brings nearer the nights, and the nights only bring nearer the dreams, and the dreams only bring nearer the fears, and the fears only bring nearer the morning, and then the light comes – but the light is just darkness.
Its cycle is only broken when the smoke clears, the damage is left, and fire has torched the town and the people have adapted accordingly.
Its ruins will always be there.
The scent of smoke will never leave.
The embers will glow orange and the buildings will fall and when the next people come to this world they will try to build it up to what it used to be, but the fire will be back.
The darkness is light.
I long for the desert. I long for its silence.
There is something about your crunching steps over ancient sand and stone. It’s a land with acres and acres of dry, rocky earth. At times, the only sounds are your walking feet.
I long for the desert. I long for its danger.
It’s the kind of land that challenges the spirit of the best survivors. It’s addictive. Its plants are sharp and deadly. Its animals roam the brush, at a constant war against each other and you. Its birds are large and vengeful, finding food in the dead. Its heat is paralyzing. Its nights are like a darkness you’ve never seen, a cold you cannot bear.
I long for the desert. I long for its breath.
The desert air is like nothing else. You don’t know until you’ve really taken it in with your own two lunges. The ocean has a pungent beauty – the forests are moist. The woods smell oaky – the mountains are cold. But, the desert has warmth, a burn to it. Its air is like the smell of a fresh camp fire. But it doesn’t pass in a moment, it lingers; it’s constant. It’s dry, thin, and it turns most of the land to dust and cactus needles.
I long for the desert. I long for its healing powers.
The desert cures. It welcomes those who need their solitude. It welcomes those who hate their solitude but would rather have it with the rattlesnakes and cattle. When you need to put the world behind you, to forget love and desire, to dispose of a troubled past or a poor record, the desert welcomes you.
I long for the desert. I long for its welcome.
It houses honest men, men who need the open air and their wives and their boots and nothing else. It also is home to the criminals, who need to lose their name and find labor, who can’t have an address or a face.
I long for the desert. I long for its stars.
The only thing more impressive than its open land is its endless sky. Desert stars are not like any other. They are not finite. It’s harder to find patches of black than spots of white. Those stars are a true portal to the past. A reminder that we are small and simple, that life is meant to be enjoyed and pondered, that there is nothing more important than the moment you find yourself in.
I long for the desert. I long for its love.
Unconditional. Endless. Blind. The desert’s love is thick, powerful and never-ending. It shares itself with the venomous snakes and venus fly traps. Surely, it will share it with you, too.
I long for the desert.
For Mexico, love, and Colin Rooney
Laughter fills the car. There is a mutual willingness, an encouragement of adventure. No fear is present. No possibility of failure is in the air because you can’t fail when you’re simply going. The sun fades over the horizon as you chase its final rays. Slowly, the car begins to grow weary. It’s been a long day of excitement. The street lamps of the highway become illuminated. They blow by at an extraordinary speed; orange and glowing. Their streaks pass over sleeping eyes. It is that moment in the trip when there are more people asleep than awake. But the loneliness of the road, the silence; it’s comforting. It’s the only time in life when this loneliness is ever truly comforting. It absorbs you, but gracefully now – not like the loneliness of heartbreak or death, but it’s the loneliness that begins an ascension to happiness. What lies ahead is a mystery, but you know that you are not in it alone. In this moment, you may be the only conscious being. But soon enough, this car full of comrades will come alive. You’re destination will appear in the distance. Your purpose will be fulfilled. The sun will rise behind you, beginning its chase as it pushes you toward the coast. Roads will open, and forks will be taken, and the place you end up won’t be what you planned, but it will be somewhere. And it will be special. And when you get there, you’ll think about the miles you covered, all the lanes you changed, and the exits you choose, all the times something could have happened to prevent you from arriving here, and you won’t care about any of them. You’ll just care that you arrived.
Dedicated to Ari Weitzman
Change is inevitable. It is as certain in life as it is in the seasons. Yet, as it comes, it almost never arrives quietly. It never comes without a wrath of emotion, a fight, a spurt of hope that things can stay the same. Those spurts are like snow in late March - a fleeting, final effort to press pause and keep things the same. But, spring will come, and so will change. And while the positives and negatives of this change push and pull like a seesaw, the world continues to move on. Whenever you try your hardest to slow things down, the clocks continue to tick. Each morning, employees and employers climb into their suits and then their cars and go to work, the sun comes up, the joggers jog, the birds chirp and the world spins, and your change adapts and coils and moves with the world like a newly formed river. It can be overwhelming, this lack of permanence. But it can also be exciting. It can be refreshing, invigorating, challenging. And yet, it is never final, and it is never easy.