Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wyoming Dispatch: 1000 Acres

Today the temperature climbed into the thirties, which is almost balmy by Wyoming winter standards. Since it looked like we have a chance of another storm at the end of this week, I took the opportunity to go for a long ramble in the 1000 Acres.

The 1000 Acres are a property that butts up against Jentel. Jentel does not have any ownership of the land, but Resident Artists have permission, as long as they do not cross any fence lines in the property, to wander about within it. I'd hiked the steep-hilled edge of it on my second day here with April and Dan, which had us laughing and talking as we went along. Today I wanted solitude, to fill myself with the silence and the panorama.

To enter the 1000 Acres, a person must climb over the contraption above. Having grown up in a rural area, I'd never seen the like of it, but I'm told they are common in places like Ireland. I can't help wondering if it is a solution to (possibly citified) people who forget to latch the gate after they go through it?

Looking past the contraption is the path up the hill. It will take a wanderer into a an exploration of a wide unpeopled, but non uninhabited, space.

My ramble turned into a three hour jaunt that left me breathless and exhilarated.  One of the things I love about being here is I haven't needed my inhaler - the air is so clear, and I can breathe without any issues.

Before leaving, I'd spoken with Robert on the phone, and as always, ended our conversation a bit frustrated and worried (not with him) that his medical condition remains unchanged. This nagging worry stayed with me as I wandered, thinking about him in pain leaves me wishing I was with him, and always worried that something will happen and I won't be there. I know that I have friends who are there for him, but part of me will always worry about him until he's all better.

I couldn't help thinking how much Robert would love being here, seeing this.  Somehow, as I walked, such thoughts led me to the idea of memories, and how wouldn't it be amazing if we could give them to each other? Right now, all I can share is the story, but I can't share the fullness of the silence, the feel of the air on my skin, the entire immensity of the landscape and how close the sky feels. Gifting a memory would be also gifting an experience, would that be as fulfilling as having the experience yourself? 


Bonnie MacAllister said...

I'm so sorry to hear that Robert is still hurting. I know that every hill and cactus and skyline will remind you of him because that happened to me in Ethiopia. Love to you both.

Marguerite Elliot said...

Such beautiful country. I can feel the silence and the cold. Thank you for sharing it. I do hope Robert feels better soon.