July 16, 2018 by Darren Clarke
Part two of Grand Canyon or Bust will be more of the same- The Canyon itself.
Given it was incredibly busy at the Canyon I ended up going with embracing people for pictures. And I think it worked out well.
It struck me at a certain point that these people, like myself, had amassed for the chief purpose of gazing out into a vast landscape devoid of people.
We stood there, often shoulder to shoulder, staring out into an epic panorama carved up over the course of billions of years.
The whole area around the Grand Canyon is of course designed around the Great Wonder. Hotels, restaurants, gas stations (with really expensive gas), pink jeep tours, helicopter tours, the National Geographic Visitor Centre. All designed to support you staring at rocks and sky while considering eternity.
There are few exercises more daunting than pondering eternity, let alone doing it from amongst a veritable throng of photographic devices aimed at a surreal, mostly empty landscape, so I am not going to dive too deep here but the popularity of the Grand Canyon appears to be yet another indicator of our increasing fascination with space and time and the continuing draw of mystery.
As our time and space continues to be devoured by urban overdevelopment we continue to seek places adrift from the anonymous mania of mass consumption. We long for abandoned places, lost places, places that somehow remain virtually untouched hundreds, thousands, millions of years after they began, not just because they seem to harbour a strong individual identity but also because they appear to provide a spacious, quiet, environment in which you can seek your own unique self with some of hope of finding something to believe in.
I wouldn’t be able to articulate what I found at the Grand Canyon. But it moved me, it brought tears to my eyes the moment I stood before it.
Seek beauty and you shall find it.