Prose

Thoughts from The Grand Canyon – Reilly Wieland

The Grand Canyon seems to become more and more transcendentally ‘grand’, and the word appears to be more and more precise. This road trip seems to have become fantastical, like everything we have seen thus far cannot be explained in words. I am waiting for the greenscreen to fall and the stage producer is about to pop up and cut the scene.

In my life personally, I’ve tried to focus on “pleasure”. That word has a singularly sexual meaning but that’s not it. This trip has seemed to show me a lot of extraordinary things and people (or at least different sides of family) that I had not seen before that remind me that every moment of my peculiar and transient life is something so spectacular and meant to be celebrated.

I’ve seen a lot of beautiful things and I know it’s cheesy, but something about standing in front of the kind of place that makes me wonder how I have the audacity to feel anything but hopeful when a place like this is here is really amazing.

On that, I saw my first real dome sky, the kind that writers can pen novels about and you see as desktop backgrounds. The Earth was so flat that I could see the exact horizon arise and the sky rise like a bird’s nest, encasing me in. Skies like that will give you a strangely acute sense of reference in what the world can be. It seemed like the smog parted and everything came to me, like the little puzzle that I couldn’t find the last piece to anytime before.

This cross country adventure has seemed to teach me relevance, or at least made me comprehend the importance of giving my attention to the things that truly matter. In preparation for this trip, I focused too intently on outcomes: upcoming injuries, gas station food, sleepless nights.

The things that I thought would be big events at the beginning of the trip are, in fact, non-events of everyday life, all which I am not in control of. These non-events have made up this trip and my life. The irrelevancy of these miniscule annoyances seems to be overwhelming as I think about it.

What is relevant are the things that have come along with the injuries, the seemingly already perfectly preserved memories of the trip: the exact feeling you get staring at Zion, or at the Grand Canyon, or a dome sunset.

But in that, it seems short sighted to mark these non-events as unimportant. The non-events are also the events that act as catalysts for me to see the major happenings around me.
And those happenings in these moments are my life, and I want to take pleasure in them all.

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