About | | Blog | Projects | Contact

utah is like heaven:

utah is like heaven

it’s real pretty but you can’t get a full-strength beer anywhere.

so sundance was amazing, and hard to explain. someone there described it as a tree funeral, so that will do for now. it was fun to construct things in camp and be in a collaborative community space (am i over my activist burnout?). i also talked stories with elders, made new family, learned a couple of songs in a couple of local languages, built an outhouse with a man who was at wounded knee, and still found plenty of time to cloud-scry and stalk some reptiles (two rattlesnakes and a couple of horny toads, which are kinda like thorny devils crossed with cane toads).

ritual is a powerful thing and i feel honoured to have been invited and welcomed into that community. ceremonies can make revolutionary shifts in our relationships. it’s interesting here, seems there’s less of a ‘purist’ attitude to indigenous culture; some almost talk of native ways like a religion you can convert to – then others talk of ignorant white folk who stuff it all up. being as i’m closer to the latter it was all very eye-opening… and heart too. again.

after all that i was totally prepped for the highwayside, all inspired (and thinkin of that etymology- spirits and breath). i got a ride with a sundancer across the rockies and into utah, we stopped off at arches national park, and i took heaps of photos. then hitched to the grand canyon with a friendly oregonian hippy. it is a big f-off hole in the ground. they have condor. i didn’t see any. northern arizona is surprisingly forested and beautiful, until you get into the endless gravel hills of navajo land with nothing growing. craft stalls all along the road. my favourite one was painted with a sign reading “Nice Indians.”

rode to phoenix with a vietnam vet who was totally lovely and made me drive most of the way so he could smoke pot (i drove on route 66! for about five minutes where it passes through flagstaff). it became harder and harder to understand the vet’s already slurred speech, but i’m fairly sure he told me funny stories about his hobo days in the 1960s and 70s.

there is a concrete factory just south of phoenix which must be where they make phoenix because it’s so tarmacked it’s become a solar oven. you can feel the heat burning your feet through the soles of your shoes. miraculously i only had to wait about five minutes in that awful suburban wasteland before i got a very comfortable bmw ride to tucson. i pity the rich folk who never traveled cause they were too busy makin money. though sometimes i wish i wasn’t too busy traveling to make money.

tucson’s great so far, really green and the saguaro are mesmerizing critters. the most humanoid plant i’ve met since the grasstree. i’ve also met the punks, been to a 22-bands-in-12-hours marathon, and yesterday i went on a mega bike mission to a waterhole with some lovely queer women, unfortunately the waterhole had sort of moved unexpectedly (desert landscapes are so cheeky like that) so we had to readjust our hiking plans somewhat but it was luxurious to lie in running water and look up at the red rocks of a canyon. i can’t get over how green everything is here. i also can’t get over the number of gated communities. wilderness vs suburbia, round 56,802,592, 293.

now i have to go through The Diamond Anchor’s proofs, and i’m so looking forward to it all being done… the book doesn’t read remotely well anymore, it’s all nuts and boltsy. plus my language is all messed from trying to communicate with seppos – i’ve been translating into american so much i even caught myself saying y’all yesterday. and i am simultaneously trying to prepare myself for spanish speaking countries.

oh the miniature Centrepoint Tower of babel in my head. even with that revolving restaurant it’s a bit too much. i might go poke my nose into some border politics instead.



  1. moo from basso island wrote:

    Miss ya, kitten.


    Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 6:58 am | Permalink
  2. jenjen wrote:

    hear hear love
    save me a dram

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 2:37 am | Permalink
  3. genevieve wrote:

    You’re hilarious jennifer – Mighty Centrepoint Tower of Babel indeed.

    Enjoy the rest of your journey, the blog posts are excellent, I can’t wait to see what other writing comes out of it.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 7:29 am | Permalink