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Photo’s and Text for, “Dealing with Cones and Spheres Encroaching on my Desert Landscapes.”

April 29, 2010



         I glanced into my rearview mirror, but it was gone.  Another desert landscape painted and then discarded.  It was no great loss.  It was not even a small loss.  I discarded or lost most of my landscapes.

My odometer read one, three, three, six, one and eight – – I’ve been driving this car for many years. The trip meter read two, three, four – – It’s been a while since I last bought gas.  The last mile marker I passed read one, two and zero – – This number means nothing to me.  I search the horizon for mountains, grasping for meaning, but I see none.  My eyes flick back to the mirror and then straight ahead.

There is a point on the horizon where the asphalt of the two lane highway and the desert become one.   Behind this shimmering oasis, a glass-walled factory produces mile markers, approximately one every fifty-two seconds.  They leap out of the factory like salmon from a waterfall.  It is my job to sit at the end of this production line and count each one.  Losing track is bad, because it means you have to start counting over again at the number one.  One is bad.  One hundred is good.  So far in the past three hours I’ve only been able to reach sixteen.  That’s bad.

This time I only made it to twelve.  Through my driver’s side window, I see mountains peeking out of the southwest horizon.  I watch amazed, their size and distance wreaking havoc on my artist sence of perspective.  Though I had seen them on my previous drive, the sight is still a surprise.

The mile marker read one, nine, and two.  Again, I looked in my review mirror.  Those landscapes held many wonders, up close and far away, but sometimes finding beauty in the desert’s banality took imaginary cones and spheres.














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