Journal August 2003 in Death Valley.


Burnt Skin.

Obscure silence; strangeness and presence– Thoughts of yesterday’s rain fill my head as I walk this huge desert canyon.  Not Death Valley itself, just a meager side street, 80 feet wide maybe 20 ft deep, sides vertical and scoured from repeated flooding, dropping rapidly below me into flatland.  The scorching sun vaporizes everything. Place names of heat and the devil.  I imagine this canyon as it narrows greeting me with a wall of water, compliments of some far off thundering.  Beyond hearing or seeing.  Nothing seems to be present, except me and the sun – and I remember that strange pilgrimage of earlier out to that lowest point.  “GPS armed strangers seek the magic spot,” I think, as I imagine myself the editor of the Gamy Bird, clicking off another exposure.  I seem to be the only one wearing pants, and right now – the only one existing.

Shawn Kielty