“Out west everything has its own space. Every little ramshackle cabin, shack, hut sits perched atop its own little piece of destiny with room to breathe, room to live, room to die. You’ll see them, the dead ones, sitting by the side of the road like some faded grey and rotting mystery, thinking about the good old days before trains and cars and wanting more.”
― Andrea Portes
There lies reminiscent of old times between the creeks of the magnificent rock structures of Midwest America. The fulcrum of human civilization in the vast virgin lands of Utah and Arizona can be found in the mighty Colorado River running like a lifeline vein, cutting and seeping in the tough rocks. Maligning its strong image with her splashing waters, it makes the rocks succumb to its will and melt down. The famous route-66 was my way to Las Vegas, Nevada and it started with a touchdown in Moab, Utah.
The drive through the alleys and mazes of the rustic rock structures was unbelievable. The overwhelming feeling that sneaks inside makes you forget the existence of self in front of these giant stalwarts especially when you are right in front of them standing with your neck bent backwards, trying to take a full gaze at the top and then you step backwards a little, trying to fit in the entire frame in your sight. You know that is not possible, so you go back a bit more and more until you can see the complete entity. And ironically you do that with every passing by structure. Every turn around a mountain feels and looks different. It looked all identical though, when you were approaching it from a point far away.
You saw the whole thing and said to yourself “a jungle of mountains and cliffs and creeks and arches” and “rustic” but when you see it from a close proximity, it is all dissimilar. Every turn and every curve is distinct. And then you step down from your car to take a fine look. , In the middle of this stepping forward and backward and adjusting my view, I realized that I am in some funny leg motion. I stopped, looked around at others and learned that people around me are in the same state of temporary brain freeze. Everybody was so uninhibited by everything around them. Some gawked while some creased foreheads, squinted the eyes and closed their brows.
At this moment you realize that everybody around you has a unanimous state of body and reaction. We all share a similar state of being. Everything becomes the same in such a benign presence. It is not because of the size of the structure in front of you for man has seen and made bigger towers and sky scrapers. It is because making such a magnanimous labyrinth of arches out of a piece of earth is something man can never do. It is true that man fears the unconquered just as it fears the unknown. And it is true that this attribute makes these structures godly. Man fears god as man fears unknown. It is because of the mystery that lies in them that makes man stand still. These are the times which hardly go noticed by us. Nobody remembers how we looked while we were awestruck. All we remember is how good we looked in those pictures of us clicked at that time.
These arches and stone mountains have been there, upright, tall and unconquered since ages. And so in front of all these godly structures, we all stand equal, in same bewilderment … in a similar being!