20 lines: Dispatch from Sedona, Day 2

In addition to days and lines, we are tracking:

Reptile sightings – spotted a total of 8 yesterday. Lizards mostly. One snake, but we anticipate more. One fat brown lizard darted across the path in front of us, cartoonish.

Fallen things – tree bark felled by lightning. The relative sizes and shapes of leaves. Slenderness and curvature of branches and twigs. The texture and roundness of stones.

properties of fallen objects

properties of fallen objects

Some cacti have round black spots on their leaves, a kind of rot. Pebbles make a satisfying crunching sound underfoot. Sunset colors the sky in long flat ribbons, as if pressed down from above.

properties of fallen objects (2)

properties of fallen objects (2)

I have spotted other writers here. One, working on a memoir. We spoke beneath the lightning tree. The other, recognizable by his solitude in the library in the evening, headphones in. Studios are makeshift – there are some workspaces tucked in the corners of common rooms. Photographs and sketches spread out across long tables.

Mid-day, it is warm, but not the oppressive heat I was braced for. We move slowly nonetheless. Thunderstorms in the late afternoon. After, the air left cool and clean.

properties of fallen objects (3)

properties of fallen objects (3)

We talk about what it would be like to live here, in this quiet. Trade the sounds of the highway for birdsong. Recalibrate one’s sense of scale in the landscape.