Riding south down 191 out of Canyonlands, the landforms undergo serial metamorphosis: from sweeping canyon to mountaintop with stiff stands of pine, to plains of beans more like something out of Iowa. As I crossed into the Ute tribal lands, the geology opened its wings even more. Azure peaks in the storm-halo distance; the Carrizo Mountains. Diamond-gilded uplifts on Cedar Mesa escorted me to the west, engulfed in sun even as it rained. Behind me were the ghosts of the Abajo Mountains. The uprising geology, the mountain ranges, vast as they were, all merged into insignificance, lacolith islands surrounded by oceans of high desert plain. Not a car had been in my rear view mirror all day. A re-mix of Silence by Delirium wafted from my CD player.
The sun broke through the clouds in a few places; bars of light roamed the scrub like searchlights. I was enfolded by the enormity of that which created. Its love for itself so powerful, so vast and unspeakable, that I could not escape it even if I wanted to. No sin conceived, no suicidal oblivion, could eject me from its womb. How can that which is limitless ever create anything outside itself? And how could it create anything unlike itself?
What engulfed me always was this fact: If anything is endless, then it must be everything that shines in it light, or else eternity is mocked as falsehood. I must be in endlessness. It must be everything. Or else it was nothing. I was eternal because eternity was. It didn’t need to find me. It had never lost me, since it encompassed all things. The truth didn’t need to be sought, because to seek something implies that you are outside of it, that I am not of it. It didn’t need to be found. For loss implies you can live outside of that which is lost. It was already here, with me. It didn’t need to be struggled for. To struggle for it only meant it had gone away, and that which is ever present can never disappear from our presence. I merely hid my awareness of that presence. It didn’t need to be revealed from beneath blankets of self-analysis. That was not the way to experience it. No, it was here always—nurturing, enfolding. Within, without. And nothing can ever take that away. The worst I can do is forget this fact. But a drive through the desert often reminds me that this forgetfulness is only temporary.
© 2015 by Michael C. Just