"I gasped the first time we came over the great swell of rock that buttresses the Canyonlands. It’s like falling, but standing still. The land opens, evaporates from under you. The world goes so wide you think you’ve missed it. More buttresses of stone float past—Church Rock, Tuhkinikivats Arch,Wilson Arch—and the earth bubbles into cones, red moguls. The La Sals, a laccolithic mountain range (unburst volcanoes), rise up—a desert requires mountains the way a punch requires a fist—and you rise with them, in their shadow, and then plunge into a salt valley below, under a chiseled fin. This long red fin is the Moab Rim, rising a thousand feet and traveling for miles, a seemingly endless train to the west and south, while the gray and green of the mountains anchor the north and east. Here is not one, but two places. Not one, but two truths. The mountains make the desert, and the desert, ungrateful child, forgets the mountains. Everything is linked, necessary."
To read more of my essay in the newest issue of the Kenyon Rcview (one of the nation's oldest and most beloved literary journals), and more of my exploration of the steely link between desert and mountain, life and death, marriage and isolation, togetherness and apartness, click here.
With warm thanks to the editors at the Kenyon Review for their support of my work.
Causes Mylene Dressler Supports
The Women's Media Center