Sunday, December 17, 2006

I might as well be on the moon.

Vastness is cleansing. Desolation amplifies the vastness of a place. Not that where I am is really desolate, but it's a damn far cry from "cluttered". I'm presently sitting on the banks of a lake, actually. There's plenty of sage, just like every other unpaved square inch of Northern Nevada. Even some regular old grass down there in the plain. But it's desolate enough that there's absolutely nothing blocking my line of sight over miles and miles of water (in the middle of the desert).

"When you come down to take me home
Send my soul away
when you come round you make me whole
Send my soul away"

I can also see in every direction, however, exactly where the lake ends. It is bound by a giant's jagged crown of dirt and rock There are craggy clumps sparsely scattered around this lake and one even jutting right out of it, the nominal "pyramid". The particular crag that I'm sitting next to has already been claimed by Reed, Miles, Dean, Dee, Mike, Tina and many overlapping others. I'll keep off it for now. It's too cold to go poking around someone else's landmark. Besides, I'd really be pushing my luck; I think I'm supposed to have a permit to be here.

Pyramid Lake is part of an Indian Reservation. I'm not sure what all you need a permit to do here. The highway runs right through so it's not like you need one just to be here which is all I'm looking to do. Well... sitting, looking, writing... munching some trail mix. Bust me for picnicking, officer, but certainly no fishing, camping, or spelunking. I reckon "trespassing" on a reservation is pretty redundant anyway.

I just need to be here. I need the space to stretch me out. I went around Lake Tahoe months ago when I first came into exile. It's beautiful and epic and profound but I haven't been back since. Its intricate beauty was not the tonic to fill my proscription. I drove passed Pyramid last weekend and decided immediately to plan this very trip to come stay a while. Tahoe I needed to see. Here I need to be.

At work our office doesn't even have a window. I'm face to face with a computer screen all day that's counting on me to solve its puzzles. I go home then, and spend the rest of my waking hours in the cubby-hole of my room face to face with another computer screen. I'm counting on it, this time, to enrich me- but just distracting me will suffice if that's all it can manage. I pretend it's a portal through which I can download information about the real world and experience it at my leisure. Really though it's just a pod, which seals me in and soaks me in red suspension fluid and pipes sensation into me intravenously.

That's why I need to get out here into the utterly open for a while. Give this exile thing a proper go. Spend some time with just me, myself, and this giant body of water surrounded by nothing but dirt. It doesn't drain to the sea, this lake. The water comes from Tahoe and is sent directly back up into the sky by the sun's (usually) unhindered grasp. This lake doesn't go anywhere, it just is. It's massive and existential, and it doesn't give a warm fart about me being here... which is just right.

I suppose the kids who come out here on summer/fall/whenever nights to light a bonfire and drink and screw around in caves do all that because they're fed up with the vastness of their habitat. They make sure to paste their name on the rocks because they want to keep that precious notable irregular jutting up out of so much nothing. I'm happy to be here but I don't care to contemplate the horror of being permanently immersed in vast desolation. I guess those kids must escape, if even just for a Saturday night, over the hill into "The biggest little city in the world!" so they can finally taste some external stimulation. But it's the opposite I need and I'm finally getting a dose.

Exiled out here, finally with no escape from my thoughts, I am forced to produce. The only way out is through.


Dankelzahn said...

It's still sad that you left St. Louis to head out own your own, but it's good to hear you're getting out and taking in the countryside again. Maybe taking up some amateur photography would get you out to more serene locations.

Anonymous said...

Would that I could find an "exile" such as yours. I think I have it in the trees down by the stream at C9R. Only problem, too many other people. I will seek harder that place that will allow me to express my soul. I will test it before your own eyes when ready.