Friday, May 19, 2006

Southwest 29: Professor Canyon with a Lead Pipe

“So, Professor Canyon, except for a sunrise of two, I’d have to say, considering all the anticipation, notwithstanding the incredible depths and vast expanse of ever-changing colors, is that all there is?” Of course, Canyon didn’t say a word. “I was expecting revelations, an apocalypse of the very soul, maybe the four horsemen themselves riding through the sky and all I got was a few ravens in some deep illusion of a bottomless earth.” Of course Canyon remained silent. “I mean don’t get me wrong. It’s exhilarating enough. Just the thought that at the edge of almost any viewpoint a fall of some five-hundred feet awaits the careless spectator is enough to put a visitor on edge. But I was thinking of something a bit more mind-blowing.” Silence. The sun went in and out of clouds. Colors changed. Depths varied. “And really, you’ve been absolutely no help at all. Haven’t given me a clue. Oh, sure, I know the past is here before my eyes.” Canyon coughed, “Don’t live in the past.” I laughed, “Easy for you to say. Your very reality is past.” Canyon coughed again, “Don’t live in the past.” I flew off the handle, “Don’t live in the past. Don’t live in the past. That’s all you seem to say. But I know, and you know, that you’re nothing but the past.” Canyon coughed one more time, “OK you’re really beginning to irritate me with all this pomp and expectation. The past. The past. You look at me and you think you see the past. But what you see are the textures of the present. Let me tell you something son. If you ever decide to climb down this canyon, you had better not scramble in the past, or you’ll find yourself falling faster than you can say ‘Colorado River’.

~Chandler Chiller 2006

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