Lately, it seems increasingly difficult to blog about politics and affairs. Maybe I've reached a saturation point where I don't feel that I can offer anything to the discussion that hasn't been said better by many other bloggers. Where my fingers once flew across the keyboard in outrage apoplexy, I seem to find only weariness. In addition, my routine has changed as I have pursued more gainful employment. So the vitriol and insights just haven't been coming as readily.
In the meantime, I am looking back at earlier, unpublished work. I found these three pieces about living in Window Rock, Arizona at the airport there. Walking a Line
Walking was part of my daily routine in Window Rock. Most nights after work, I walked about a mile and a half with my dog, Prince. We followed a well established route about halfway down the runway, crossed an open area about 15 meters to the dirt road just inside the airport fence and then back up the road to the hangars and terminal area. During winter the short days meant that I often walked in the dark under an immense sky filled with moon, stars and planets, all parading overhead.
A small area doesn’t offer much option for varied routes: clockwise or counterclockwise. On the runway pavement, I preferred to walk against the landing pattern so that any plane landing would be coming toward me. Usually that meant walking south on the runway since most planes landed from that direction. After dark, the direction didn’t matter; the runway lights always gave me ample warning.
Maybe a year or so after I began this routine it dawned on me that I always cut across the same section between the road and the runway. I wondered if I could trace a path. I would have to walk the exact route across the field every time. The route from the pavement to the road was easy. A gate was at that point on the road; I could sight in on the right gatepost. The other direction lacked a prominent feature to sight upon so I just walked west from the gate post. These maneuvers were even more imprecise in the dark. One a moonless Window Rock night, the gate is difficult to see. Moonlit nights were not quite as difficult.
I followed this route for maybe three years, walking four to six days a week. After a while I could see the occasional footprint. By summer 2001, my last year in Window Rock, I discerned a faint trace. Hardly a path but evidence of one person’s routine walking in one spot. The trace was a visible, mostly benign, mark of my presence. It was, to the extent it existed at all, transitory. When I returned to Window Rock two years later, no trace remained. Only the memory of many, many walks. Some Verse
Good evening Mother Earth.
Good evening Father Sky.
On this night filled with your wonder,
I thank you for the gift of creation.
The heavens above and earth below are testament to your presence.
Life flows and ebbs daily within your sphere.
All creatures, great and small, share in the cycle of life
I have the honor of knowing and following that cycle.
I see you in every view and vista,
From rocky outcrops to the most distant star.
You manifest your variety in infinite ways
That awe and astonish me.
During the day you reveal a multitude of color, form and motion.
My eyes are filled with works near at hand.
At night you dazzle me with your infinity
As I gaze into space time, and motion.
I have watched you these many years
You never fail to dazzle and amaze.
I am comforted to be part of your creation
And know that I share in your infinity. Some More Vers
Watching the night sky over Window Rock, Arizona is like no other experience I’ve known.
Years of amateur astronomy taught me to navigate the cosmos.
But four years in Window Rock taught me to feel--for the first time--my place in the universe.
Looking heavenward, I watched stars and galaxies wheel through the heavens.
The Milky Way stretched its dusty cloud between the horizons.
Planets followed the Sun in a timeless parade.
Venus and Mercury danced between evening and morning.
Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn moved steadily east to west.
The Moon appeared as a delicate crescent, barely visible in the Sun’s glare and waxed full until she dominated the night.
I have witnessed this nightly spectacle in many places.
But only in Window Rock, Arizona did I become part of it.
A tiny speck in an expanding, accelerating universe.
A heavenly body, dancing into eternity on this small blue-green planet.