The Mother of Roads – pt 2on May 19, 2014 at 7:50 pm
Poor scheduling is a constant in this trip. To my mind, that’s not always a bad thing: we constantly encounter unexpected things, linger longer than we’d planned, find derelict
backyards full of rusty Fords, gatecrash a mormon fathers-and-sons camping trip,…
So yesterday, we once again arrived late at our destination. The hike we’d planned wasn’t going to happen, as the trail is hideously dangerous at night – so we resolved to just walk along the rim, and see the sun set.
We walked through a tiny, unimpressive forest. There was no buildup, no mountains, nothing amazing really. Until, in front of you, the ground suddenly drops.
There it is. The grand fuckin’ canyon.
It sounds corny, but my mind was washed clean. All sorrow, worries or preconceptions – everything was obliterated as I found my tiny, mortal, cosmically irrelevant husk confronted with that sacral monumentality.
I was struck the ancientness of it all. Of the blink-of-an-eye that my life was, compared to this eternity, which itself was only a blink of an eye in the bigger universe of things.
Almost automatically, i started to vocalise some words of humility, gratitude. Which evolved into a prayer.
“Aware of my cosmic insignificance… Fully aware of the contingency of all of this, of the blind forces that shaped all of this and I, I am nonetheless thankful for this experience. Knowing that I, myself, am but a grain of sand in an endless beachhead – knowing that even now, the wind washes away my words as it erodes these rocks, I am happy and thankful for my brief life.”
Or something like that, I don’t remember the exact words.
We watched the sun set, with the sky on fire, the canyon in ever-changing relief, and my eyes full of sunspots. I smoked the last cigarette I will smoke on this trip, and was at peace.