"We are witnesses to this opening of time, vertical and horizontal at once."

"The desert is time, exposed time, geologic time. One needs time in the desert to see."

"The Coyote Clan is a raucous  bunch: they have drunk from desert potholes and belched forth toads. They tell stories with such virtuosity that you'll swear you have been in the presence of preachers.

The Coyote Clan is also serene. They can float on their backs down the length of any river or lose entire afternoons in contemplation of stone.

Members of the Clan court risk and will dance on slickrock as flash floods erode the ground beneath their feet. It doesn't matter. They understand the earth re-creates itself day after day."

well friends, we are home from the sojourn to the desert intricacies, spires and hoodoos: nature's surprises and explosions and cathedrals in southwestern utah. my eyes and skin and heart are so full that i hardly know where to begin. today i will use quotes from the ever-inspiring Terry Tempest Williams to try to capture the splitting, shifting, growing,emptiness-and-fullness-at-once, pure love that happens in these red canyon lands. her book Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert is full of tales about these very lands we have been traversing, and she tells so perfectly how you fall in love here, "falling in love with a place, being in love with a place, wanting to care for a place and see it remain intact as a wild piece of this planet." 

here your heart aches with such great love and wholeness that you know, finally and surreally that you are one with all. With "pink sand underfoot and ravens overhead and the joyous sensation of finding red dirt in every pore of your skin."

in the desert, water is rare and magical. always a much needed place of refreshment and vigor, restoration. "We are water. We are swept away. Desire begins in wetness. My fingers curl around this little frog. Like me, it was born out of longing, wet, not dry. We can always return to our place of origin. Water. Water music. We are baptized by immersion, nothing less can replenish or restore our capacity to love. It is endless if we believe in water."

"This is wilderness. The tenacious grip of beauty."

"The desert heat loosened the muscles and spirit of the group. Joy crept in and filled their boots."


 best of all: experiencing this with my family. together finding this "mythology born out of this spare, raw, broken country, so frightfully true, complex and elegant in its searing simplicity of form. You cannot help but be undone by its sensibility and light, nothing extra. Before the stillness of sandstone cliffs, you stand still, equally bare."

to open our bare hearts together and be here at once, is to know the fullness of the world and catch of glimpse of some universal truth. timelessness, scale, mirage, revelation.
to be in this together is to be fully alive, to make the most of life, to learn. 
to return with hearts burst apart at the seams, full of light.


Amanda said…
Love it! Sounds wonderful!
Celynne said…
Oh wow, that looks like it was a fantastic time. You have some amazing photos here... places I need to see someday. Deserts seem like another world to me when all I've known is northern forests of pine trees and bears. This looks like a dreamscape. I'm glad you had such an amazing time.
Amy Beatty said…
LOVE that book. crazy how many books we have been reading at the same time and didn't even know. I loved imagining the the red earth in every pore when I read it. How true it is!! What a trip. Green pools and blue skies......... red red red red. Loved every single moment with you out in the des. Everything single place was just magical and such fuel for my soul. LOVE it ALL xxoxo there is just enough to keep me dreaming till next time.
ZombieLace said…
Such an amazing journey. I especially love your words in quotations. Where are they from?
god, i want to go to utah SOOOOOO effing bad. amazing pictures. just amazing. what fun.
mooncowboy said…
fantastic heather. of course. what with this and all today's photos i can't get the dreams from my head either.
Teeny said…
Utah. i absotively have to show my husband this post so he can see just one more place i want to visit. You girl, know how to tell a story to intoxicate the reader for sure. Write a book please, just so I can read it always. xx
AdieSpringB said…
To top it off, they have the best thrift stores ever!

Heather, I SOOO want to read Red now. I just bought a used copy of John Wesley Powell's book. So excited to start it. TTW's words feel like my own heart is speaking them too. I felt closer and more in love with nature and it's mystery and the mystical hand of it's kindness than I ever have. I felt as though the planet and the clouds and the red rock loved me back. I won't ever forget it, and I will return again and again until the day I die. I hope you return with me, and OFT!
AdieSpringB said…
whoops, sorry about the apostrophe over my "its" - It's just SO EASY to accidentally throw it in!
Anonymous said…
Y'all are so beautiful. I'm thinking that bare landscapes are just as intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually fertile as the lush ones. Maybe the bareness strips away all pretension and leaves you even more prepared for experience?
Ms. Habit said…
wow, looks like a heavenly escape. I LOVE your pictures. Makes me long for a desert journey myself. Beautiful post.
Heidi Ann said…
So glad you had a wonderful trip!!
Anonymous said…
thank you so much for this post. i just started reading ttw this weekend, and the desert has been pulsing for me this whole year, so i feel a lot of resonance with your recent adventures. the desert brings out the starkness of each thing within it, and with you it brings out your beauty (inner and outer), radiant and singing. thank you as well for the post above about your family, and including the secret about "mostly good times and then sometimes not" since my family has a great share of grumpitude. it's a treat to have a peek into the bloodline that brought you into our beloved earth. xo
Missa said…
You, your family, the amazing earthscapes... all so full of spirit and beauty! Now I know what I must read on our trip too, thanks m'dear :)
Kelsie Lynn said…
I think you just wrote down some beautiful memorable and very quotable words here. beautiful, just beautiful

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