By James Bishop, Jr.
(January 30, 2014)
Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.
Lily Tomlin (1939 – )
Day dies into night wrote the great Tertullian “and is everywhere buried in darkness…and yet again it revives, with its own beauty, its own dowry, the same as before, whole and unimpaired.”
Is that a fair description of Sedona?
Perhaps one day that was true –about residents as well as landscape. But it would be irresponsibly misleading to declare that today. Day after day more and more land is being impaired by ‘dozers, more of the blessed Verde River is heading for dry sections, and more and more newcomers who have other things to do than worry about landscape, loss of volunteerism, but detest hearing musical noises in the night which are not their own.
Rumors are flying that a group of New Age rednecks, weary of tiresome newcomers have in their mind to construct a huge wicker effigy somewhere near a old cowboy ranch in order to pay homage to the old pioneers of storybook fame who ate frogs for breakfast and made their own whiskey. It has been said that several tourists stumbling on a ceremony still have not returned to their timeshares. Rumors!
Who ever heard of red neck New Agers?
Nothing like that is being planned for Sedona well informed city types assure this humble scribbler. Yet, they won’t know everything; there is something in the wind. Indeed, apart from the record breaking allergy season a special survey finds that a high volume of whining is to be heard in our fair city, and also more than enough NIMBYs running around to fill Yankee Stadium.
Some sort of Socialism general readers might conclude?
Nothing so fancy, just citizen opposition to projects in the city like art parks that are believed to be dangerous, unsightly, or otherwise undesirable—and noisy because of music—and owls.
Truth be known emotions are running hot, so are unattended sorrows, waves of anger and resentment. Other cities have created ways of containing all those emotions. Leading list is the city of Santa Fe which once a year creates a giant effigy named “Old Man Gloom.”
More than 50,000 people a year go to watch Zozobra, who stands fifty feet tall and after three days of celebrations is burnt to the ground; burned with him are boxes of letters of gloom written by residents. Reportedly, gloom is soon replaced by joy. As the year passes by, their anxieties arise again, and gloom returns and people create a new Zozobra.
Discretion is needed now; the following is based on special information about a special event which the city must not know about in advance. Time will tell, deeply informed sources tell deeply receptive staffers on this legendary free sheet, dedicated to truth, good red wine and long, tall ladies.
Around 11,000 years ago Cyprus bloomed in and around where the airport looms now. If you look, you may find one still there—twenty feet high, with soft-textured gray-green foliage and rough shredding gray brown bark, very drought and heat tolerant, top of the line for windbreaks and erosion control. And best of all, the best place to introduce the community to the Cypress Queen.
It will not be revealed yet which Cypress near Airport Hill be the scene. None the less, plans are afoot. First chore is to list all the emotions running loose in the city where many have been in therapy, once were and are now headed that way:
- unattended sorrows
- buried emotions
- hidden anger
- wished for forgiveness
- regrets that they’d never left Chicago
- secret passions.
- Need for purification
Second all, firewalkers will have to be hired, heavy large drums purchased, DJ’s hired for background music and shop owners invited to supply boxes destined to be placed around the Queen.
Hold it now, this project was not suggested by the film “The Wicker Man.” Truth be told no sacrifices are planned. What will happen is at the proper moment the Queen will spray golden pollen over the attendees, encouraging them to rid themselves of all desires to complain, whine and bitch. Big drums will be heard. Liberated, finally, they will gather together, singing great Baez songs. They will march two by two, march down to West Sedona and occupy City Hall, confident that they’ll be nothing to complain about ever again.