O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings: climb with me the steep,–
Nature’s observatory–whence the dell,
In flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
‘Mongst boughs pavilion’d, where the deer’s swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the foxglove bell.
In the vast whirlwind where the whole world listlessly turns like so many dry leaves, kingdoms count no more than the dresses of seamstresses, and the pigtails of blonde girls go round in the same mortal whirl as the sceptres that stood for empires.
—-Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
Hotness is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe something as simple as a generous application of a bronzer.
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?
—-Shakespeare, Hamlet, V.i
“They rode on and the sun in the east flushed pale streaks of light and then a deeper run of color like blood seeping up in sudden reaches flaring planewise and where the earth drained up into the sky at the edge of creation the top of the sun rose out of nothing like the head of a great red phallus until it cleared the unseen rim and sat squat and pulsing and malevolent behind them.”
― Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West
“Literature differs from life in that life is amorphously full of detail, and rarely directs us toward it, wheras literature teaches us to notice. Literature makes us better noticers of life; we get to practice on life itself; which in turn makes us better readers of detail in literature; which in turn makes us better readers of life.”
― James Wood, How Fiction Works
“I’d been chasing females all my life, not paying no mind to the fact that whatever’s got tail at one end has teeth at the other, and now I was getting chomped.”
― Jim Thompson, Pop. 1280
If you don’t die of thirst, there are blessings in the desert. You can be pulled into limitlessness, which we all yearn for, or you can do the beauty of minutiae, the scrimshaw of tiny and precise. The sky is your ocean, and the crystal silence will uplift you like great gospel music, or Neil Young.
So many people visit and take photos of the bronze cattle drive in Pioneer Plaza. It’s a challenge to find something ten thousand tourists haven’t shot on their phones before.