Dorland, Day 27


My last full day at Dorland.

And finally, I'm brighter and acting like myself again. Driven to work and play and scamper around in the brush. Because of this I'm really feeling the devastation of losing so much time here to healing. I'm frustrated that I have to leave the moment I feel better. I don't believe in things being "meant to be," so it doesn't feel like my losses while here have specific purposes. But I know I'll grow from them anyways (rolling my eyes at the cliche as I write it) and I did try to do what I could with the productive time I had, as I've been mentioning. Like soaking up this incredible landscape.

I also started a new drawing that I love. It's of a toothed raven. (The ravens here have been going INSANE the last couple days.) It feels good to like my work again. I started packing and I wrote a lot in my journal. I watched the sunset from a rocking chair that I pulled off the porch in front of the house. After the sun set behind the mountains, I hiked up a hill to watch the last light go. What a life.

I knew this summer would change me, but I had no idea how quickly and we're only through June. What do you have for me in the remaining months, Universe? (Should I be afraid to ask at this point?)

Next, I'm headed up to San Francisco for the weekend to see both of my Allisons, each are friends from college. Allison G lives there and is taking me to my first Pride parade. Then Allison E is joining me all the way from Michigan on Tuesday to cross the country. I have incredible friends. We will see Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels, Arches NP, Rocky Mountain NP, Nashville, and Asheville among other things along the way. She's also a photographer so it will be fun to photograph the country as we go. I'm particularly curious about Kansas, which everyone says feels like a millennia to drive through... It can't be THAT bad, right?

Tomorrow I pack up and say goodbye to my lovely mountain. I'm not ready to go. Not at all.

"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 still as the cracks of 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.

If you want to know more about the raven: bury yourself in the desert so that you have a commanding view of the high basalt cliffs where he lives... There will be at least one bird that will find you. He will see your eyes staring up out of the desert floor. The raven is cautious, but he is thorough. He will sense your peaceful intentions. Let him have the first word. Be careful: he will tell you he knows nothing."

--- "The Raven," Desert Notes, Barry Lopez


KATHLEEN

SAUNDERS