I Stand Alone


Obtuse Kineticist
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I Stand Alone

One of the strange little ideosyncracies of mine throughout my life has been the desire to stand in a spot upon the earth where I envision no one has ever stood before. We had 70 acres of woods behind my parents home in southern New Hampshire, and whenever I got the chance I took walks out there. I would go off the beaten paths, and stand in the middle of a thicket, and imagine that I was the first human to ever occupy that space. There was a resonance to the experience that I have never outgrown.

Throughout my horseback journey I repeated this same ritual of seeing a spot I was sure, either because of its impassability, or because of it undesirability, that no one had ever been on that spot. I would tie up the horse and go to the place I spotted, and just breathe in its essence. I have left my presence throughout the United States in this fashion.

Out west, during my driving and teaching phase, I would come across many places that had the same feel of loneliness to them. My most vivid was in Nevada on route 50 (touted as the loneliest highway in America). There would be these mountain passes, with 50 mile valleys in between without a sign of human habitation. I would get to the base of the valley, then pull off and drive a mile into the flat desolation. Getting out of my vehicle, I'd walk another hundred yards and marvel at the lack of human noise. These experiences still haunt me to this day. I crave them.

I have also been known to go into abandoned houses and just silently take in the echoes of it's inhabitants. There are many of these abandoned houeses across the country, and I have absorbed hundreds of them over the years. I just walked through and touched the walls, delapitated furniture, and picked up any debris to seek it's history.

I have often wondered if anyone else had this same peculiar appetite for standing alone in a place of either desolation, or abandonment, and tried to be present within it. It is like a well kept secret of mine, and I hope I have inspired you by sharing it here.

© 2003 DC Vision

It's seems weird that America even has those places - here in the UK it seems like every foot of land is firmly accounted for and coveted.

Something I used to do a while back in uni, was to sit on a patch of earth, and then try to imagine everything that might have happened on that spot, or very close to it, through both geological time, and human history. There was never a sense of being alone - everything just felt every more crowded. :)

i regularly visit the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.. walking the dry akali lake beds... seeing the crisp whiteness of the ground in stark contrast with the azure blue of the sky...

when i lived in North Africa, i would reguarly do that sort of thing as well... we'd drive out to the deep desert and, seeing an interesting rock formation, we'd pull over and climb and explore.

once whilst we were doing that, a pack of pie dogs (don't know why they are called that... they are wild dog packs that live in the desert and surrounding areas and are quite dangerous to a few humans) surrounded our rock outcropping. we had to scramble to the top of the pile of rock.. oh.. maybe 1,000 feet or so.. and we had to sit up there for nearly 7 hours.. talk about a sunburn!

the other place that feels like no one has been before are caves. i'm something of a spelunker and often you can find me wandering in the woods with a compass and a map looking for draws to investigate for caves. i really enjoy finding ones that are pristine...

so.. i guess that's a long winded way of saying "yes, i feel that as well" :)