There is always a light

There is always a light
Don't be afraid if you are alone or surrounded by darkness. In some part of the world, the day has just begun. There is a always a light waiting for you to find your way to touch its radiance.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Silence: A Matter of Perspective

By Pritha Lal
Springville, Utah, USA

Silence can be deafening, it can overwhelm to the point of desolation, it can overpower one with a feeling of nothingness. Once in a while, however, comes an experience when you relish the power of silence because it fills you with more than the strains of a beautiful symphony ever could, the notes of which you carry in your soul long after the last crescendo has peaked and faded.
 I experienced or at least tried to experience a semblance of this during our recent visit to Monument Valley nestled in the rocky landscape that dots the Utah Arizona border. Miles and miles of barren mesas and colourful canyons stretch before you, as living edifices that bear witness to the ever changing faces of our living planet. Most of the land is a Navajo reservation and all you see are small settlements and a few trading posts where the starkness of this emptiness is accented with the bright hues of turquoise, lapiz lazuli, tiger’s eye, malachite, coral and such other riots of colour studded in handmade sterling silver jewelry. You could either buy these pieces of jewelry or see items like this beautifully pinned maybe to the bodice of a tiny little wrinkly Navajo woman who wears it with pride - the lines on her face as old as the rocks, witness to history of this region and of course, her people.
 The rest of the colour in this area during the winter comes from the blue skies riddled with white clouds, the greenish hues of the San Juan River as it meanders into the most artistic goosenecks, the golden dust that is kicked up by wild horses running through the wide open planes, the purple hues of twilight as the western sky gives way to a zillion stars piercing through the inky black of the horizon. There is really nothing to "see" here other than a few rock formations with names like the "mittens", "rooster and hen butte", "battleship butte", "the seven sailors" and of course the famous "lady in a tub". However, there is more to fathom in this place than many others that I have had the opportunity to visit.
 Driving along the famous Valley of the Gods Scenic byway as you make your way to Muley Point, the road meanders through rocky cliffs, to a point, where you feel you can touch the sky. The sunset from there amidst the dark thunder clouds is not something I will ever be able to describe in words, because there is only so much the eye can see and the mind comprehend. The place may not have the pristine beauty of Bryce or the verdigris of the Northwest. It may lack the aqua from the beaches in San Diego, or the quaintness of Alpine Europe, and yet it is the absence of all this is what makes this place so full of life, of hope, of the spirit that resonates in each of us.
 The memory of this trip was captured with our respective Canon Rebels, but the feel of the place is something we didn't even attempt to talk about. How can you even try to define the infinite?
 The picture on this blog comes closest to what I can possibly translate in coherent words. I found this little pile of stones (probably a little child's handiwork) and as I looked at one of the "mittens" behind it, the entire universe seemed to come together with a very simple meaning.
 We all have a place in it, however small, however insignificant, we have a role. Nothing would have been taken away from the landscape had those stones been missing, and yet because of those little stones, the monolith behind took on a whole new meaning and as I stood taking in this wonder, the sound of silence overwhelmed me once again and I knew it was time to leave. The soul is not always ready for all the beauty the world has to offer or understand the power of silence until it has found its own stillness.


  1. All in just a Silence... beautiful...

  2. Too good! I haven't been to this place. But now its in my list.
    But I don't know why, while reading your article, I was reminded of my visit to the Grand Canyon..Am sure you will agree that silence has a similar beautiful role to play at the Grand Canyon too..

    Very neatly written !

  3. Thank you Sunita, I have been to Grand Canyon and all the parks in Utah and Denali in Alaska.. bryce being my fav.. but nothing came close to Monument Valley.. do visit it some day :) Denali did come close but this was something else :)