Lake Powell, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell (Above)

I’m sitting here, on what feels like the crest of the desert. It seems as if you can see as far as the earth begins to curve. The jets leave patterns in the sky over layers upon layers of rock. It looks like God took a knife and had at it for a bit, the rocks telling stories over hundreds of millions of years. The water almost looks out of place here; thee’s nothing green to surround it. There’s no sandy beaches, only rock and brown desert bushes. It’s shallow and wide in places, as if the water is barely seeping from the earth. In other spots, it looks like the water runs deeper than the worst man’s problems. You can see a hundred feet of flat-faced rock above the surface, and I wonder what’s below.

There’s a man flying a drone around me. It’s the only noise I can hear besides the occasional jet or boat. The machines move and they buzz like the busy world they come from, but the landscape stays silent. I’ve never encountered a place so quiet, so still. I imagine if you spent a good amount of time here, great thoughts would come to be. Maybe the world’s problems can only be solved in a place where nothing happens at all.

There’s few signs of life here, only a single circling bird. I’m envious of his view. He circles higher and higher.
It’s hard to leave this place. It’s hard to leave any place I’ve been. There’s been so much coming and going, and each time I leave I am sad, but then I arrive somewhere new and I am awestruck once again. It feels like I’m falling in love and letting go every couple of days. It’s been hard to find time to process it all. I feel like a regular vacation has definitive stages to it. There’s the build-up and anticipation, the feeling of freedom when you arrive, getting lost in the joy in the middle, the disappointment when you know it’s coming to an end, the reflecting on your way home, the sadness when you go back to work, and then the appreciation for the memories.

I feel like I’m going through all of these emotions every couple of days, condensing them into a 12 oz. can when they came in a half-gallon carton. Maybe I need some kind of closure every time I leave a location. Some kind of writing, or some kind of act that says, “I’m grateful for my experience here, but it’s time to move on.”

I’m incredibly grateful for my time here in Lake Powell. Some kind of bug just bit or stung me in the armpit and flew away. “There’s hardly any sign of life here,” I just had to say. Maybe he’s telling me it’s time to go. Hopefully I can return soon.

Jason Brendel
Jason Brendel

Jason Brendel is an author, poet, and comedian from Northern California. Navigate the buttons below to follow him on social media or purchase his collection of laugh-out-loud poetry on Amazon.

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