Contact Me Here
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    « Full And Broken | Main | Effortlessly »

    Desert Magic

           From watching too many Clint Eastwood westerns on television throughout my formative years, I romanticized the desert. The mythical magic of The Mojave was real to me, even though I had never stepped foot there. I could feel it. Even through a TV screen.
           When I’m experiencing any form of art or entertainment, be it a book, a movie, a piece of music, or a painting, I have the ability to completely immerse myself within it. Some call it “getting lost”. I call it “becoming part of”. What I actually lose touch with is all other external reality. Whatever else is happening around me suddenly feels almost extemporaneous. My whole world becomes that song, or that movie, or that whatever.
           It’s an outgrowth of constant fantasizing as a kid: my coping mechanism of choice when things got too uncomfortable, or too heavy, or too fuckin‘ traumatic for me. Which was, apparently, fairly often. My creativity and imagination developed a Warp Drive, and I used it. I was able to instantly leave wherever I was and go someplace else. And if there was already a place to go, like a song or a television show, well sometimes that became my destination. At that point, I wasn’t in my body anymore; I was in the car with Fred Flintstone.
           In 2003, driving from Los Angeles to Phoenix, I had an opportunity to see Joshua Tree National Park, which is in The Mojave Desert. The night sky in the Mojave, far from the light pollution of populated areas, is pitch black and spectacularly full of stars. Being an astronomy fiend, I just had to do some star gazing in that environment. And catching the sunrise at Keyes View, also in Joshua Tree, was on my bucket list.
           I wanted to spend the night in the park, in the desert, under a blanket of thousands of stars. Not in a motel room. The problem was, it was November, and the desert can get bloody cold at night that time of year. According to park services, the lows that night were expected to dip into the high thirties. I had no tent, no sleeping bag, no blankets, no pillows. I didn’t even have a jacket. But I did have a car. And some clothes. That would have to do.
           So I threw on as many layers as I had with me, spent as much time as I could outside looking at the stars, and then found a place to park. Putting the driver’s seat all the way back, I did my best to fall asleep. Throughout the night, I would wake up every half hour or so, because I was freezing, start the car, crank the heat, and bring the temperature up enough so I could fall back asleep. This went on all night, until about two hours before sunrise, when I made my way to Keyes View. I was the only one there. That’s where this picture was taken.
           It was worth it. Like I said. Desert Magic.

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>