It often occurs that pride and selfishness are muddled with strength and independence. They are neither equal nor similar; in fact, they are polar opposites. A coward may be so cowardly that he masks his weakness with some false personification of power. He is afraid to love and to be loved because love tends to strip bare all emotional barricades. Without love, strength and independence are prone to losing every bit of their worth; they become nothing more than a fearful, intimidated, empty tent lost somewhere in the desert of self.
This sweet virginal primitive land will metaphorically breathe a sigh of relief --like a whisper of wind--when we are all and finally gone and the place and its creations can return to their ancient procedures unobserved and undisturbed by the busy, anxious, brooding consciousness of man.
God takes everyone he loves through a desert. It is his cure for our wandering hearts, restlessly searching for a new Eden... The best gift of the desert is God's presence... The protective love of the Shepherd gives me courage to face the interior journey.
But in the desert, in the pure clean atmosphere, in the silence – there you can find yourself. And unless you begin to know yourself, how can you even begin to search for God?
He watched her for her reaction, or possibly watched her just to watch, his eyes hooded by his lashes and his mouth impassive. A faceless man—such as the one she had dreamed of since she was a child—his identity not obscured by mist or flying sand or swirling dust, but by a mask he readily employed whenever he wished. As a shutter closed against a gale. Closed against her, no matter the impact of his words. He seemed to speak them against his will, just as he seemed to care for her against his will.
In a land that knew only dark beauty, she was something of a hybrid no one dared touch. But the tall Arab did not appear in the least daunted by her abnormality. No, she saw his eyes. He was not daunted in the least.
I asked him if it were a mirage, and he said yes. I said it was a dream, and he agreed, But said it was the desert's dream not his. And he told me that in a year or so, when he had aged enough for any man, then he would walk into the wind, until he saw the tents. This time, he said, he would go on with them.
The field of the soul must be watered by the rain with tears of love, otherwise it will become a desert.
One mile farther and I come to a second grave beside the road, nameless like the other, marked only with the dull blue-black stones of the badlands. I do not pause this time. The more often you stop the more difficult it is to continue. Stop too long and they cover you with rocks.
Where is my oasis? Too far fromhere for me to crawl with thesedead legs, refusing to co-operateHands and fingers clawing uselesslythrough the grains of sand...
You become a house where the wind blows straight through, because no one bothers the crack in the window or lock on the door, and you’re the house where people come and go as they please, because you’re simply too unimpressed to care. You let people in who you really shouldn’t let in, and you let them walk around for a while, use your bed and use your books, and await the day when they simply get bored and leave. You’re still not bothered, though you knew they shouldn’t have been let in in the first place, but still you just sit there, apathetic like a beggar in the desert.
WIDE, the margin between carte blanche and the white page. Nevertheless it is not in the margin that you can find me, but in the yet whiter one that separates the word-strewn sheet from the transparent, the written page from the one to be written in the infinite space where the eye turns back to the eye, and the hand to the pen, where all we write is erased, even as you write it. For the book imperceptibly takes shape within the book we will never finish.There is my desert.
Night poured over the desert. It came suddenly, in purple. In the clear air, the stars drilled down out of the sky, reminding any thoughtful watcher that it is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated. When men see nothing but bottomless infinity over their heads they have always had a driving and desperate urge to find someone to put in the way.
Time has a different meaning for me, and these events that seem so monumental in the moment will one day be nothing more than a line in a scroll. These humans are but letters to be inked into history. A hundred years from now, I will be free. I will have forgotten their names and faces, and the struggles they have will not matter. Time has a way of burying things, shifting like the desert and swallowing entire civilizations, erasing them from map and memory. Always, in the end, everything returns to dust.
I would not sacrifice a single living mesquite tree for any book ever written. One square mile of living desert is worth a hundred 'great books' - and one brave deed is worth a thousand.
I have spent weeks in the desert, forgetting to look at the moon, he says, as a married man may spend days never looking into the face of his wife. These are not sins of omission but signs of pre-occuopation.
We were going to get Ahmed back. And Rahim back. And Shazad. And Delila. And all the others who had been captured. And we were going to end this.
There are people who come home from war and want to talk about the pain, but no one wants to listen; there are others who want to keep silent and repress the memories, and all their family and friends want is to talk about it. I call this the war veteran reintegration paradox.
My life is an adventure. she said, growing confident as she opened her eyes again. I will not be shackled to this satellite anymore.
I had to clear up my messy life. By letting go of the debris and filth, I have come to a deeper, more soulful beauty and clarity like an oasis in the desert. From that place of clarity, a vision of what I could have, what I could do, who I could be has emerged if I allow my heart to become a place of compassion, acceptance and forgiveness.
But silence continued in the layers of the earth, and this density that I could feel at my shoulders continued harmonious, sustained, unaltered through eternity. I lay there pondering my situation, lost in the desert, and in danger, naked between sky and sand and stars, withdrawn by too much silence from the poles of my life.
The painted aircraft took on sunlight and pulse. Sweeps of color, bands and spatters, airy washes, the force of saturated light—the whole thing oddly personal, a sense of one painter’s hand moved by impulse and afterthought as much as by epic design. I hadn’t expected to register such pleasure and sensation. The air was color-scrubbed, coppers and ochers burning off the metal skin of the aircraft to exchange with the framing desert.
Why are the desert blooms that spring to life after a monsoon so magnificent? The answer is – their impermanence. The lush growth and blooming flowers do not last very long here in the desert, and this new growth only happens once a year. If this growth was never-ending, we would soon take it for granted. Likewise, our human lives. What makes them so special and unique? Our fleeting impermanence.
Water, water, water....There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount , a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, insuring that wide free open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.
I’d forgotten how enlivening it could feel, seeing clearly and far. Aridity frees light. It also unleashes grandeur. The earth here wasn’t cloaked in forest, nor draped in green. Green was pastoral, peaceful, mild. Desert beauty was “sublime” in the way that the romantic poets had used the word- not peaceful dales but rugged mountain faces, not reassuring but daunting nature, the earth’s skin and haunches, its spines and angles arching prehistorically in sunlight.
The fire. The odor of burning juniper is the sweetest fragrance on the face of the earth, in my honest judgment; I doubt if all the smoking censers of Dante's paradise could equal it. One breath of juniper smoke, like the perfume of sagebrush after rain, evokes in magical catalysis, like certain music, the space and light and clarity and piercing strangeness of the American West. Long may it burn.
The weather here is windy, balmy, sometimes wet. Desert springtime, with flowers popping up all over the place, trees leafing out, streams gushing down from the mountains. Great time of year for hiking, camping, exploring, sleeping under the new moon and the old stars. At dawn and at evening we hear the coyotes howling with excitement - mating season. And lots of fresh rabbit meat hopping about to feed the young ones with.
It was a place as blank as a sheet of paper. It was the place I had always been looking for... Flat expanses would call to me... These are the places where the desert is most itself: stark, open, free, an invitation to wander, a laboratory of perception, scale, light, a place where loneliness has a luxurious flavor...
One by one and then together the birds chanted, warbled, whistled, and cooed, like a rare desert plant bursting into life after the rain.
I knew I was a grain of sand in the vast desert that never ended and he was a sparkling star in the sky. I was a fish who couldn’t breathe in air and had to stay in dark waters forever while he was a majestic bird who soared so high that he barely touched the ground. I did not deserve him. I could only watch him from down here and wish, wish that he could come here someday. That he could know that I existed. But for that, he had to fall. He had to drop to the ground but I could not let that happen. And then I thought, birds are meant to fly and stars are meant to shine and if someone takes it away from them, they can't be the same anymore. So, I just prayed that his wings never fail him, that the star never explodes. And I was at peace.
Maybe I should stop while I'm aheadNay, I swim with sea-demons no sweet summer tuned radioover my sunless desertscapehow does it burn without the sun?
7 Up soda pop mixed with bright pink grenadine with a chemical-tasting maraschino cherry stuck to the plastic straw. It was one of those drinks marketed for children, but Mandy could see that she wasn’t the only adult ordering one. For some reason or other these old-fashioned restaurants always seemed to attract old ladies ordering strawberry Jell-O with whipped cream, truck drivers ordering “worms and dirt” (chocolate pudding with Oreo cookies squished over the top in a glass bowl, fruit-flavoured gummy worms over the cookie crumbs) and businessmen trying not to get syrup from their hot fudge sundaes on their neckties and tailored suits. Mandy figured that maybe they were all trying to grasp a time way back in the past when they were all little children, excitedly ordering desert for a special occasion under the warm incandescent light from above, cheerful and bouncing music filling their minds. Hurriedly she ate the food, paid the tab and hurried back to her car in the bitter wind, not wanting to stick around for very long.