Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Journal entry: September 29, 1994 - in the high desert

I love the wind in the desert. It's strong outside on the Alvord now, and it makes my Fields Motel room cozy and a secure place to be with a great book, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which I bought for the trip and have wanted to read for years. I waited for the right time as the plot with its dynamics on love, infidelity, highly-developed characters with rich observations on life all suit me now. This gem by Milan Kundera: "Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress."

My personal composition "according to the laws of beauty" today was a poignant farewell to the amazing couple from Los Angeles, Louise and Lloyd. I shook his hand strongly to help him fight his tears of departure from Frenchglen, as I found a Harney County soul friend whose first visit here changed his life as mine was forever altered three years ago. The Mountain loved them, I knew; they had that blessed look that only a few of us carry with us after the Steens has stirred us with its magical embrace: You are my angel; return to me. And so I went back up there today and found new wonders in fog, thick fast-moving clouds, a fresh chill warmed by occasional rays of sun. I saw a perfect mountain bluebird. I took in each memory as it came and gained strength, and I also gained strength from J's passionate kisses goodbye. I told him he didn't know what they meant to me. A lot, but not enough and I hope my needy response didn't indicate otherwise to him.

Tonight I drove the 25 miles one way to Denio Junction for dinner. I saw a rainbow over the desert, turned the car around to come back for my camera, then turned it around again because I knew I'd lost the photo op. So what, it's no biggie to miss one picture? Nope, I am sorry because it was a magnificent sight. I played a few slots, lost about $4 all told and drove back over the state border. Man, each way tugs at me and each side has formed me. 1)"Welcome to Nevada - the Silver State"  2)"Welcome to Harney County" (actually I think it just says "Entering Harney County," less yee-haw and more factual). 

I don't know if this makes sense, but coming into Nevada from Oregon I don't feel I come with a wealth of qualities to offer, except, of course, a deep environmentalism. But entering Oregon after touching base with Nevada I feel I offer up all of me, including my sad inner-child, my worldliness, my sin, my confessions, the lost me, the silent one, the sister of the desert, the laughing rowdy dancer, my anger justified, my desire unquenchable, my love inscrutable, my soul refreshed in solitude, the unbearable lightness of being borne and celebrated.
No wonder I feel healthiest and most whole when I dwell -- even for a short time -- close to the borderspace. When my eyes have a view of both Nevada and of this part of Oregon I think they see all there is for me, all I dream.

Photos by Lydia:
  • windmill between Fields, OR and Denio, NV
  • ancient petroglyph writing on rock near Malheur Wildlife Refuge, Frenchglen
  • Fields, Oregon (population 86) store/cafe/gas (tiny motel not shown)
  • young black angus at play
  • Historic Frenchglen Hotel (population in Frenchglen approx. 12)
  • Steens Mountain summit 9773', Wildhorse Lake, Nevada's Pueblo Mountains in background
  • Road between Fields, OR and Denio, NV
  • Entering Nevada and Denio
  • Rattlesnake
  • View from Frenchglen of gentle-sloping west rim of Steens Mountain, with Keiger Gorge notch visible



Looking to the Stars said...

Wow, the picures are beautiful but the glimpse inside of you was far more beautiful and touching. You are a very deep person :)
thanks for sharing.

Rhiannon said...

I love what you wrote about yourself in the last "Long" sentence in the second to last paragraph of this post.

As I read it I smiled and thought "I see we might have some things in common in our wild ways"..just what you wrote everything you said in that sentence I connected to. I felt like saying "I know I know Lydia, me too"..and yet we are two different people with two different paths..who apparently have a bit of our journeys in common..."here and there".

"The unbearable lightness of your being"...



Lydia said...

@Looking to the Stars- You are so sweet to say that. I wondered what it would be like to post something from one of my journals. Now I know.

@Rhi- I do think that our paths have been different but we share an understanding of one another. It's a beautiful thing!

the watercats said...

One thing I need to do before i die is an American road trip.. I found this little journey mesmerising.. like stepping into a warm, dust laden breeze... beautiful. Thank-you... :-)

Lydia said...

@the watercats- Oh my, if you liked this then I will hope very strongly for you to be able to have a road trip in the American west. Really, truly...wishing hard now for you.



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