Someone is talking to me…

The world is full of words, babble, and psycho-babble, & images, all on the internet, your iPhone, tablet, TV shows, magazines, whatever it is, blasting you at whatever speed you can afford, or can take in. A cacophony, a never ending stream of who knows what – in many cases it’s BS.

Trump, Kardashians, ISIS, anything middle-eastern, anything remotely apocalyptic – hurricanes, earthquakes…You don’t need me to continue this list. If i could add a BS filter to sort thru this, separate wheat from chaff, would anyone’s mailbox/inbox look like?

x_mailboxes

There’s a Rolling stones song on ‘Between the Buttons’ – ‘i am waiting, waiting, waiting for someone to come out of somewhere’. I read some good magazines though – Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, the New Yorker. Now there’s somethings to dig your teeth into.

I will make reference to astonishing artist who lived centuries ago, and did some marvelous work – illustrating passages from the bible concerning the apocalypse, which seems to be a topic of significant interest these days, since many people seem to think we are approaching one.

I loved Albrecht Durer’s woodcuts as soon as i saw them.

bestfourhorsemen

I quote from a source i didn’t bookmark or save:

“The third and most famous woodcut from Dürer’s series of illustrations for The Apocalypse, the Four Horsemen presents a dramatically distilled version of the passage from the Book of Revelation (6:1–8): “And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and its rider had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come!’ And out came another horse, bright red; its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that men should slay one another; and he was given a great sword. When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come!’ And I saw, and behold, a black horse, and its rider had a balance in his hand; … When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come!’ And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given great power over a fourth of the earth; to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.” Transforming what was a relatively staid and unthreatening image in earlier illustrated Bibles, Dürer injects motion and danger into this climactic moment through his subtle manipulation of the woodcut. The parallel lines across the image establish a basic middle tone against which the artist silhouettes and overlaps the powerful forms of the four horses and riders—from left to right, Death, Famine, War, and Plague (or Pestilence). Their volume and strong diagonal motion enhance the impact of the image, offering an eloquent demonstration of the masterful visual effects Dürer was able to create in this medium.”

To tell ya the truth, i haven’t owned or watched (a) TV in over a decade. The only few American newspapers worth reading are the NYT, the WSJ and maybe the LA Times. If the revolution will be televised? I might miss it. 

I may have touched on this topic before, and I’ve definitely posted some of the images. But i constantly review my images, looking for new possibilities, be they photographic or literary. So here’s some thoughts that struck me, in opposition to all the noise in the world.

Many, many times when i am in some deep desert place, i feel like someone is talking to me. Who ever it was definitely spent some time and effort, chiseling into rock.

Sometimes they were talking to each other, saying ‘the people are here’:

12_27_1154_directions

242_whitehouseruinspeoplerhere

Other times they were talking to someone, anyone, in the future. Maybe they were talking to their gods… who knows.

1124_glyph_dancers

 

1136glyphs

contactjt

What they say to me is how much these people thought… about anything, everything. How ingenious they were to suspend themselves high above, on a canyon wall, to do their work. Probably growing crops and hunting game was arduous enough – survival was difficult,  yet they did this work. Now a very few rock climbers can scale amazing heights, no rope, just bare hands, but i doubt someone scaled these faces, held on with but one hand using the other to make the ‘glyph.

Artists these days? I am not sure how many are really trying to communicate as these people were, i think a lot of it is ego, self absorption, business as usual, commerce – you can make money making art? Wow, you are really getting over on the world. Durer was saying something to anyone who could listen about his beliefs, and the Book of Revelation.

These glyphs are constantly under assault, as are the many artifacts found in the four corners/desert area:

http://www.hcn.org/issues/48.1/rock-art-and-the-struggle-for-preservation

One man has chronicled desecration:

http://www.houseofrain.com/

finderskeepers

Finders Keepers 

A Tale of Archaeological Plunder and Obsession

Beyond what most people think about archaeology–with its cleanly numbered dates, and discoveries–lies a vibrant and controversial realm of scientists, thieves, and contested land claims. 

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/15/opinion/oe-childs15

https://www.amazon.com/Finders-Keepers-Archaeological-Plunder-Obsession/dp/031606646X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477971247&sr=11&keywords=finders+keepers+craig+childs

————————–

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Childs (The Animal Dialogues) intermingles personal experiences as a desert ecologist and adventurer with a journalistic look at scientists, collectors, museum officials, and pot hunters to explore what should happen to ancient artifacts. Questioning whether artifacts should be left in place, Childs argues that although surface surveys and electronic imaging permit study of buried objects without digging, that reliance on technology risks the loss of the “physical connection to the memory of ancient people.” Yet he mourns the loss of context that comes from removing, say, the Temple of Dendur from its natural environment. On the other hand, he scrutinizes the “stewardship” of past archeologists who removed sacred objects when “o one thought indigenous cultures would survive to start demanding their things back,” returns now required by U.S. law. Childs is critical of museum facilities inadequate to protect items that archeologists removed from their sites precisely to preserve them from destruction. He is also unhappy with the legal sale of relics to collectors, which he believes led to “more digging and smuggling.” His own “collection” consists of finds he has left in place across the Southwest. But, he says, artifacts that cannot safely be left in place should go to museums. This is an engaging and thought-provoking look at one of the art and artifacts’ world’s most heated debates. 

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

————————————-

Links for the month:

I grew up in Maine, from 5 to 10 YO, the land can be rugged, rolling, and fierce sometimes.

Spring and fall are tolerable, summer and winter, not so much. I am glad this has been established, the northern part of the state is pretty wild and rugged.

http://www.latimes.com/travel/california/la-tr-nps-ptreyes-20160808-snap-story.html

http://www.hcn.org/issues/48.12/see-new-pictures-of-the-deserts-natural-art

https://www.archives.gov/research/american-west

What San Francisco Says About America

“San Francisco — AFTER more than 27 years abroad, mostly as a foreign correspondent in Asia covering civil unrest and poverty, I wander the streets of this city, my new home, like an enchanted tourist.

The people who share sidewalks with me must wonder why I sometimes laugh out loud. The advertisements for sustainably grown marijuana on the sides of San Francisco buses. (“That’s cannabis, the California way.”) The comfort dogs on public transport and the woman who brought her dog to the Easter Sunday service.

Blindingly white teeth. The burrito that was so huge it felt as if it would break my wrist. Police officers covered in tattoos.”

http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/25/travel/gallery/world-most-colorful-landscapes/index.html

http://www.sfgate.com/life/travel/article/Eerie-ghost-towns-around-the-world-6538024.php

The Racetrack: The Sliding Rocks of Death Valley

http://geology.com/articles/racetrack-playa-sliding-rocks.shtml

Last but not least:

http://www.hcn.org/issues/48.11/see-the-vanishing-rest-stops-of-the-american-west

I can add a few of my own shots:

1107camp_retirementoverlookbench