Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ah, Wilderness

This is the Painted Desert of northern Arizona. It is certainly wilderness. I have been thinking about Martha's comment on a previous post, where she mentions Jesus in the wilderness. I used to think of Jesus's time in the wilderness, or the Jews' long sojourn in the wilderness, as a time of cruel deprivation, a period of deep suffering. And while it certainly is not a place with traditional creature comforts for us or for the Biblical sojourners, a time spent in the wilderness is not the stark exile many fear it to be. I have noticed that a lot of my blogging this far has been about getting quiet, being in Arizona, listening, being mindful, aware.

My guess is that Jesus was relieved to be in the wilderness - no crowds, no demands for his attention.

It may be that we go in cycles- needing to balance silence and sound, people and solitude, obligation and independence. Deny access to part of that balance and it will eventually cry for primacy.

Yet here we are in the 21st century of the Western (translation:privileged) World, overstimulated, overcrowded, overfed, overindulged. What happens culturally when we all wake up to the need for silence, for respite? The world we have built is rapidly catching up with us. The pipers will need to be paid.

In God's Country (U2's Joshua Tree album)

Desert sky
Dream beneath the desert sky
The rivers run, but soon run dry
We need new dreams tonight

Desert rose
Dreamed I saw a desert rose
Dress torn in ribbons and in bows
Like a siren she calls to me

Sleep comes like a drug in God's country
Sad eyes, crooked crosses in God's country

Set me alight
We'll punch a hole right through the night
Everyday the dreamers die
To see what's on the other side
She is liberty
And she comes to rescue me
Hope, faith, her vanity
The greatest gift is gold

Sleep comes like a drug in God's country
Sad eyes, crooked crosses in God's country

Naked flame
She stands with a naked flame
I stand with the sons of Cain
Burned by the fire of love
Burned by the fire of love


Blogger Maggie Rose said...

personally I LOVE desert experiences...in real deserts that is but most especially in the western part of the U.S.A....such freshness in the air and the wide open sky. Maggie

10:38 AM  

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