Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dreaming of the Desert

"A desert is a place without expectation." – Nadine Gordimer

The snow is piling up outside, a somewhat rarity for Seattle, and I am dreaming of the desert. I've been literally dreaming of it for as long as I can remember. My most vivid dream involved burning red canyons, dust gathering under my fingernails, and monolithic gods that moved the stars with their rock and roll music. 

I have a fantasy wherein I move to Taos, New Mexico. I live in a small adobe house where the walls are cold to the touch. I decorate my house with cacti, feathers, leather, and bones. I spend my days in a white men's button-up shirt, smoking from a pipe, and writing on a typewriter. The sand slides under my heels when I take walks in the evening. The sky is big, and sometimes I fear it will swallow me and my little house. 

The desert also makes me think of road trips. Riding in the car, windows rolled down, skin sticking to the leather seats. Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich raring and roaring on the radio. Trail mix and giant canteens of water litter the floor. My bare feet are on the dashboard, tapping in time to the music. The driver and I ask each other questions out of the "If..." book. The landscape seems to never, ever change. 

I am also fascinated by the night sky. Sweeping swaths of poison pink and purple color the sunset and the cacti silhouettes look like frozen dancing figures. It looks like I can reach out and pluck a star for my own keeping. The heat from the day still rises from the earth, and I catch it in my palms and cup it to my cold face. 

Some day I will make it to the desert. 


  1. how i love your fantasy!

    i am a coastal person. but what i do love about deserts is the vast openness. no fighting for space to simply be.

    my one desert experience is egypt, visiting bedouins there. a people living freedom and courage daily.

  2. Beautiful! I have spent some time here and there in the desert and it certainly holds a certain sway on my heart, but ultimately I always long for the Pacific Northwest. This crazy snow and ice included! ;-) Stay warm!

  3. oooh, a dream after my own heart. i love winter desert, summer desert, cactus and bone and owl and coyote. what an incredibly beautiful post. thank you.

  4. Something lovely going on in here: )

  5. You put my most recent dreams into words! I have been on a few road trips through the desert, and I have really wanted to take another since it has been so long.

  6. oh my goodness- i'm feeling this from the heat of an australian summer ;)

    come to our desert!

    xo em

  7. My oh my, you write beautifully. This post makes me yearn for a Southwest desert road trip with a fierceness, it's been too long!

  8. I love it! Whenever I'm busy yearning for a Northwestern roadtrip, I'll channel you and we can fulfill each others longing. I totally plan on moving back to Taos when I'm an old lady and smoking roll yer owns and wearing men's shirts while writing about the sagebrush.

  9. I never knew I loved the desert so much until I was into my thirties. Now I know it's one of the only places where I feel a direct connection to everything including myself. When you finally get to your cool walled adobe home decorated with feathers and bone let me know and I'll come for a visit!