My final flight descended through the clouds, giving me a view of the fresh snow cover over the Wasatch Mountains. Weary from little sleep and the stress of multiple long connections, I surrendered to the sensations of safety and completion. Though I am not yet in Taos, I am home, and this trip is over. Already my mind in moving on to future thrills and desires, characteristically fickle and eager for what comes next. The time to recollect grows short, the images in my mind grow ghostly, my photos seem foriegn. So before this is all a dim rememberance, let my regale you with a few observations.
We must all agree, the world is a beautiful place, and I am thankful to the powers that be for the chance to observe it in so many of its varied guises. From angry seascapes to placid fields of desert dunes, from horrific caverns filled with strange faces to the mighty, noble granite peaks of the world highest places, I have enjoyed quiet moments of solitude, pondering the vastness of the planet, and the insignificance of myself. I have come to love the trees, so proud and patient, and possessing I believe, of an essential knowledge. I have gazed into remote corners, amazed at the completeness of the world contained within a single alpine flower. I have always loved the natural world, and have not yet tired of walking against the wind, climbing to rocky places, my heart loud in my ears.
The world of man, however, leaves me perplexed and anxious. It is peopled by countless throngs- young, brown, eager and loud. Hungry. By and large I found them to be simple and honest people, carrying on in the way of those that came before. Leisurely smoking, getting fat on tasty treats, pumping out progeny, these things come naturally. And I found them to be happy, laughing easily, letting time pass comfortably surrounded by loved ones. For this I am jealous, these things I could not find for myself among the lonely miles. My innate intelligence, my fiercely developed self-reliance, my proud and protected independance are like barren shadows against the radiant joy that falls, effortless from their simple faces. It is their world. A world of sheep, a happy mindless herd, barely aware of this lone wolf.
We together, the silly and the sad, have collectively brought the planet to its knees. Everywhere, the world's single worst invention, the plastic shopping bag, clogs the waterways and dangles from every fenceling, choking beast and birds that cannot avoid the far reaching carpet of plastic negligence we have laid. Our cattle trample ever green inch, piss in every clear stream, blast more gas into the air than all our cars combined, and we continue to put living breathing trees to the ax in order to enjoy more and more of that devils flesh. We walk the city streets, blind to our brother as we chat and text and speak alto voce into these infernal devices called cell phones. Meant to better connect us, the result is the opposite. Why speak to a stranger when your friend is a push button away.
I have walked among cathedral, temples, palaces and museums. I have seen much of the great art of the world, mostly inspired by devotion to the divine. I have come to believe that art is the one godlike expression of the human condition, even more than love, which any mammal will feel. And in finding that the largest, most elaborate and difficult works of art have stood completed for centuries now, if not millenium, I am left wondering what has been the noble and divine contribution of mankind over the recent stretch of history. Technology? the mother of those conveniences such as plastic and communication, cannot, in my mind, justify our continued presence, our domination.
Just as my peregrinations left me with more places undiscovered than revealed, I am left with more questions than answers. I have caught the eyes of 10000 strangers, and looked upon a million faces, but understand little more about the human condition. I have felt the emanation of my own personal aura, glowing brightly, affording me protection from the workings of entropy and decay playing out all around me, but I know but a smattering more about my own true nature. I am left with no choice but to continue my quest for the worlds beautiful places, still hoping to find a lasting knowledge of the universe that wheels within me.