Slow Dissolve

It happened on the Pinnacles Trail of Big Bend National Park.

View from Lost Mine Trail WP

I sat down to drink some water and soak in the panorama of rock spires. It was still, serene, just a whisper of wind in the junipers. As I absorbed a landscape carved over billions of years, the mental and spiritual pollution of human society began to slowly dissolve.

Slowly dissolving…

The trappings of modernity. Plastic bags, plastic smiles, laugh tracks on sitcoms, tickers of every world stock exchange. Social and unsocial media. TV ads, phone apps, Wi-Fi signals. Parasitic technology that consumes our time and spirit.

Slowly dissolving…

Our human divisions of race, religion, class and gender. Every creed and doctrine that separates us. Crosses, grenades, and crusades. Barbed wire, border walls, and the barriers within our hearts. The dueling dualities of partisan politics and their currencies of greed and corruption.

Slowly dissolving…

The most stubborn vestige, my emphasis on Self, the definitions and attachments of identity. Hamster wheel worries and obsessions. My trafficking in words. The Ego gasping for air as it sank away.

A deeper stillness enveloped me, a primordial wellspring of time and place, until I felt merged in kinship to our ancient ancestors. Those who raised their faces to the heavens from Olduvai Gorge. The original people of Big Bend, hunter-gatherers of the Folsom culture.

For a few moments they were gazing with me into the mysteries of eons.

Silence…

Stillness…

Wonder…

A form of communion so rare in daily life…

Sharp peals of laughter from the trail below snapped me from my reverie.

 

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