April 17, 2018

The Desert Within

Oil on panel, 48" x 36"
I was in the desert on some federally unrecognized indigenous group's land, with the suburbanites who've bought the story about dropping out, living minimally, and self-reliance.

I was trying to absorb the sacred essence. Remember Carlos Castaneda, the Teachings of Don Juan?

That week's movie was Zabriskie Point and I was dying to roll around naked. But it was torchy, everything sandpaper. The sun on the moon. And what the hell was that blob of black spikes anyway?

I sauntered round the back way to the perch and gazed down at the rock climbers with their ropes and puffing faces come up the hard way. One dude made it up and I offered my hand to help him over a final hump, but he refused, proud. Said something, none too pleased but still chummy about a "muscle-fuck" and a "beach bash," and I said, "yeah, man," in a commiserating way.

Then I got into the position of the vajrasana and took out the ayahuasca a hippie with an army bumper sticker gave me near the gas station.

And that was when the vision came: a budding cactus, southern cholla with an aspect of northern sumach. Dry-iced and shattered. Suspended in the air against an oozing sky and disjointed land.

Come on, come on, my kid wakes me. You're just joking.

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