Thursday, February 24, 2011

The residency begins...!

Today is my first full day living in the Lost Horse Ranger Station, a rustic cabin surrounded by granite rocks and the park's signature trees. I'm not too far from 'civilization'. Just a 15-20 minute drive from downtown Joshua Tree, where I can get internet service, groceries and a yoga fix now and then.

Anyway, welcome to this blog! It will serve as an account of some of my adventures, creative projects and thoughts over the next month. In my scatterbrained, pre-departure state I forgot the cable that connects my camera to the computer, so I can't upload photos yet. Some trusted friend will surely deliver this cable to me very soon (wink wink). Bottom line, photos coming ASAP.

Thought number one:
Living at the LHRS brings to my attention the act of seeing. While shuffling around and cooking breakfast, I notice that my lines of vision into the surrounding wilderness are constantly obstructed by my living structure. The blinds, grids of glass on the windows, overhanging roof and support beams all prevent me from getting a clear view of the valley.

Feeling slightly frustrated, I start to call into question my expectations of the viewing experience and begin to wonder: What do we set out to see when we go into 'nature'? What kinds of natural landscapes and environments bring us visual pleasure?

It's easy, especially in this open desert terrain, to expect and desire a vast expanse, an unobstructed horizon, a 'clear' space. But sometimes that's not what we get. Sometimes we get structures and grids and big clusters of bushes in our way.

For now, I see two options:
1. Move. Shift the perspective. Sometimes taking a couple of steps in a new direction changes everything. W
e'll be doing lots of this - it is a dance residency, after all!
2. Sit with the discomfort. Maybe the process of imagining the landscape behind the obstruction is more interesting than seeing the thing itself.

Alright, it's time to finish up some last-minute grocery & supply shopping. Signing off for now to enjoy this beautiful day. So excited to be here.


  1. Shayna,
    This is a good idea - enjoyed your thoughts.

  2. OOps I just noticed this was recorded as coming from Sandy. Twasn't . Twas your devoted uncle of course.