Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Traveling back in time

French couple taking selfie
I am back in Manhattan. Some final thoughts on Southwestern geology, however. which also gives me a chance to post a few more favorite photos.

I came across a quote from Joseph Conrad (from Heart of Darkness) in McPhee's Basin and Range. The quote captures the sense of "otherness" –– what my Arizona friends referred to as "alien" presence –– that these formations seem to represent:

Goethe Girl in Monument Valley
"Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. .... This stillness of life did not in the least resemble a peace. It was the stillness of an implacable force brooding over an inscrutable intention. It looked at you with a vengeful aspect. I got used to it afterwards; I did not see it anymore; I had no time. I had to keep guessing at the channel; I had to discern, mostly by inspiration, the signs of hidden banks; I watched for sunken stones."

Motel with a view
In an earlier post I had said that one could not imagine Adam and Eve walking through such landscapes as are to be found in the Southwest. Of course not! As Conrad notes, there was a time on the earth when no humans dwelt on it, when there was no evidence of human manipulation. Even the Old Testament indicates that humans were not here first.

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