Ruminations from the Arizona Room is a series by Dr. Elizabeth Oakes, a former Shakespeare professor, a spiritual writer, and an award winning poet. A Sedonian of four years, she will share the thoughts that arise as she sits in the literal Arizona room in her home as well as the metaphorical “Arizona room” that is Sedona.
By Elizabeth Oakes
(February 27, 2017)
The desert is as much an “I” as “I” am. Here “I” disappear, become wave, not particle. It is movement and change, not stillness and stasis.
It matches my consciousness before my baby hand starting reaching for the shiny ten thousand things. It is my face, as the Buddhists say, before I was born.
The desert can hold the energy that animates us through lifetimes. It is as close to Bardo – the Tibetan word for our existence between lives on this material plane – as we can get.
We attach beauty to things, but it exists independently. It is really in us, as we are in everything. Here there is not an attraction but an is-ness; we are part of it. We are a fractal of this place and it of us.
We could buy the entire Coconino National Forest, and it still wouldn’t be ours. It would be like trying to clutch the wind or the sun. Even if we didn’t destroy it, we would lose our connection with it.
It is sometimes to hear a vibration that may have inspired the Native Americans to construct drums not to imitate but to intertwine. It is rare to hear the world’s heartbeat with our mortal ears, but here we sometimes do.
Every thing (not everything, but every thing, including us) is here on this plane to hold spirit and to reflect it.
In the desert light is our habitat, light in its physical sense but also its metaphysical, light as it moves over the rocks, changing them. We move through that light, it through us, become it, become whole, become luminescent.