One of the strange little idiosyncrasies of mine throughout my life has been the desire to stand in a spot upon the earth where I envision no one has ever stood before. We had 70 acres of woods behind my parents home in southern New Hampshire, and whenever I got the chance I took walks out there. I would go off the beaten paths, and stand in the middle of a thicket, and imagine that I was the first human to ever occupy that space. There was a resonance to the experience that I have never outgrown.
Throughout my horseback journey I repeated this same ritual of seeing a spot I was sure, either because of its impassibility, or because of it undesirability, that no one had ever been on that spot. I would tie up the horse and go to the place I spotted, and just breathe in its essence. I have left my presence throughout the United States in this fashion.
Out west, during my driving and teaching phase, I would come across many places that had the same feel of loneliness to them. My most vivid was in Nevada on route 50 (touted as the loneliest highway in America). There would be these mountain passes, with 50 mile valleys in between without a sign of human habitation. I would get to the base of the valley, then pull off and drive a mile into the flat desolation. Getting out of my vehicle, I’d walk another hundred yards and marvel at the lack of human noise. These experiences still haunt me to this day. I crave them.
I have also been known to go into abandoned houses and just silently take in the echoes of it’s inhabitants. There are many of these abandoned houses across the country, and I have absorbed hundreds of them over the years. I just walked through and touched the walls, dilapidated furniture, and picked up any debris to seek it’s history.
I have often wondered if anyone else had this same peculiar appetite for standing alone in a place of either desolation, or abandonment, and tried to be present within it. It has been like a well kept secret of mine. Especially as the world seems so crowded these days, finding places of aloneness seem so much more important to me. I think everyone can benefit from finding a ‘me’ place in the midst of all the ‘you’ noise out there.
~ DC Vision