The Sky Is Always the Same

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I spent the last night out in the country, two miles off a dirt road in Glorieta, New Mexico.  The majesty of the sky made itself known in an unmistakable way - the glowing ball of red sun declining, the rolling crescendo of thunder, heaven-high streaks of lightning, and the ensuing deluge of water. When I woke, golden light poured in through the windows over an ocean of sage, rabbit brush, and cholla cactus.

While living in California cities, exposure to this natural magic was sparse. There was of course beauty in the way the clouds displayed, sunrises and sunsets, and the moon that came in all shapes and sizes.  But it was the things in the foreground - the shops, buildings, and homes ubiquitous on street corner after street corner - that gave an illusion that I was living in a finite place.  Out here, it’s as if the infinite sky and the infinite Earth finally meet.  It’s as if there is a boundlessness not only to the natural world around me, but to the imagination within me.  Nothing is pressing against it, structural or otherwise.

This, I think, is the most vivid reason I moved to New Mexico in the first place: space.  Space so that the imagination can pour forth, part of the stream that’s been running since the dawn of time,

Over distant lands,

Under distant skies.

Alex Simon