___I soon found a special site deep within a unique and rather remote area north of Hanksville, now being considered for National Monument status, called the San Rafael Swell.
___ At my site, I was thrilled to find a large area of ripple rock. This is slate sandstone that actually has embedded or recorded in the rock surface the ripple pattern from when that sandstone was laid down at the bottom of a lake or shallow sea area. Something happened that covered it up and locked in that pattern of waves that the water caused on that particular day, perhaps 60 to 70 million years ago!
after being buried for all that time, it is being slowly exposed here in the
parched desert, an echo of water from ages ago. What fascinates me about the
ripple rock is that the image preserved in it represents something relatable
to a human timescale.
___I wonder if a dinosaur ever paused to look up in hazy curiosity at a red-orange sky?
___My site chosen, I marked the cardinal directions with large stones and placed myself in the very center. I felt relaxed and alert at the same time, and I began at once to feel somewhat distant from my self. Then it was evening, and then it was the night.
came to my medicine circle with a desire to receive a "vision" ;
it was a vision-quest. At first, I thought that my expectation of nothing
was what I received, and I felt a little wistful. I cannot say that I received
a vision that is identifiable to me as a vision. Perhaps I needed more time
or a more remote and strenuous circumstance. Only after I had finished my
time in the circle, though, did I realize that I had received something after
all. I had received a healing.
be that the thing we ask for is not what we truly need, but in the process of
asking, the universe supplies us with what we do need and so heals us and makes
us whole again. This is good medicine. I did not anticipate nor ask to sleep
through much of my time in the circle, but I did wish to be a better person
and, perhaps, to touch the ineffible, or at least see its reflection in the
sands. This strangely powerful sleep came to me as if the universe looked down
upon my small form and stroked and touched me with the antidote to my harried
___ Looking back now, it is perhaps true that I did not "stop the world" in don Juan's magical sense, but my time in the circle did make me stop my world for a time - a time that let me listen and take stock of my own moment-to-moment motivations. It levered open a mental space for assessment and for the sensing of new or previously subdued emotions and thoughts. This, too, is a valuable gift and one not easily achieved by more mundane means.
Upon Awakening at 2 a.m.
With my eyes fresh from sleep,
like the naive gaze of a child, I look out at the world beyond my simple bed.
The dry air is delicious. The moonlight is delicious. The sigh of the soft
night breeze is delicious. The stars are delicious. The backlit clouds are
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