From "Ode to Slowness" by Terry Tempest Williams (published in Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert):
"I want my life to be a celebration of slowness.
"Walking through the sage from our front door, I am gradually drawn into the well-worn paths of deer. They lead me to Round Mountain and the bloodred side canyons below Castle Rock. Sometimes I see them, but often I don't. Deer are quiet creatures, who, when left to their own nature, move slowly. Their large black eyes absorb all shadows, especially the flash of predators. And their ears catch each word spoken. But today they walk ahead with their halting prance, one leg raised, then another, and allow me to follow them. I am learning how to not provoke fear and flight among deer. We move into a pink, sandy wash, their black-tipped tails like eagle feathers. I lose sight of them as they disappear around the bend.
"On the top of the ridge I can see for miles.... Inside this erosional landscape where all colors eventually bleed into the river, it is hard to desire anything but time and space.
"Time and space. In the desert there is space. Space is the twin sister of time. If we have open space then we have open time to breath, to dream, to dare, to play, to pray to move freely, so freely, in a world our minds have forgotten but our bodies remember. Time and space. This partnership is holy. In these redrock canyons, time creates space--an arch, an eye, this blue eye of sky. We remember why we love the desert; it is our tactile response to light, to silence, and to stillness.
"Hand on stone -- patience.
"Hand on water -- music.
"Hand raised to the wind -- Is this the birthplace of inspiration?"
Yes. I do believe that inspiration is born in the land, borne on the winds...in the Utah desert, here on Dartmoor, among the rocks of Central Park in Manhattan, and wherever you're living too. We all need the land, the wild, in all its manifestations --for our art, and for the artwork that we make of our lives.
From Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit:
"Musing takes place in a kind of meadowlands of the imagination, a part of the imagination that has not yet been plowed, developed, or put to any immediately practical use...time spent there is not work time, yet without that time the mind becomes sterile, dull, domesticated. The fight for free space -- for wilderness and public space -- must be accompanied by a fight for free time to spend wandering in that space.”
Imagery above: "Saint Clare" by John William Waterhouse; a mule-earred deer in the Arizona desert; "Brother & Sister" by Julianna Swaney, and "Deer & Jackdaws" by Melissa Nolan.