I’ve been reading about the lonely. The ones that wander off from the fence lines and the safety of the herd. They tuck Thoreau or London under their arms, fill their heads with half-plans where they are the only souls for a thousand miles and live fortnights away from any electric light. They’re lost to us, to civilization, to the ones who move through channels cut in the rock of day-in-day-out. They’re alien souls.
And yet I know them. I’ve seen through their eyes. Atop the rocks, out past the city limits, in the granite outcroppings. It’s all pretty safe there. Rangers just a city block’s worth of wilderness away (laterally) and yells and hope could bring helicopter messiahs in no time.
But up there, with only the wafting of the hueco pools and the sneaky bits of green that have clung to the margins of the tiny canyon below, I’ve seen out into the great flat sheet of the desert, where the city is only a distant oasis blur, and I have wished–as these pilgrims into empty spaces must have wished–for a world without lines, without Nazca roads imposing order on the brown shrubs and tan patches of barren dust, for a world with only unnamed shapes and without purpose.
Pure beauty. Art outside of art.