We don’t live with dirt so much. In the city we eradicate dust or anything resembling dirt. That’s the mission in the city. Settling in out here in the desert, I get more used to grit and powdery dust, and that’s that.
Tonight I was conscious, more than ever, of the dirt beneath me. I took my shoes off while I painted a seven foot horse skull on a white station wagon. I stomped around in the dirt. I got thorns in my feet.
I want these cars to look as though they’ve just sprouted straight from the ground. I’d like to remove their pubes. I want the mounds around them to go away so the cars stand tall and clean, straight from horizontal ground. Majestic rust buckets.
At the base of these cars, I’ve been on a quest to tamp the dirt down more. I put some pressure on it with bodyweight in order to level the mounds beneath the standing cars. I started collecting big rocks to throw on the mounds as well. The weight and angles push piles down and keep it relatively in place. I am projecting how this dirt will slump and come to rest, through the years, around these standing cars.
I’m proud to say a good chunk of my day is spent in dirt and desert shrubbery and rocks & things. The land here is not to be taken care of, it is the way it wants to be. Remnants of how this land has altered man’s plans are prominent. Today I was seeing bushes that have grown up through the cast away steel stuff. Things decay and some pretty harshly, but metal stays for a long time and changes slowly and predictably. Plastic ANYTHING does not bode as well. Even fabric and wood survive better than plastic here, though most of this stuff was around before plastic ever was so we’re not looking at a fair cross section of materials here. It’s mostly 70 year old metal stuff, some older.
Scouring dirt roads into this land, big rocks come up from under the surface, basically everywhere. This is the land of big rocks everywhere. I’ve been tending the roads just a little bit around here. I’m picking up these big rocks and heaving them toward the car mounds. I’m not exactly sure what will be done with the big rocks but they’re nice to stack and pile in cockpits of cars and around their bases. Maybe someone will want to rockmason a car or two. I was thinking of a wood car but a rock car would be real nice too. Wood’s a bit of a commodity out here. Rusty material is more prevalent than wood. Rocks are even more so.
Here I am, kind of connecting to this land. Not that I’m Mr. Green and pampering the earth, but I’m observing what matters to her or does not. She doesn’t care if I’m dirty and she doesn’t care if I drop stuff around on the ground. It all gets taken care of.
- “Yes, The Bus is Standing Up on End” Goldfield Journal #11 (fishbowler.wordpress.com)