Time Away —or— Desert Life and a Vortex

Desert Life
Time away from everything is good to do once in a while, especially during a Midwestern winter. At the time I took this photograph, back home the snow was piled well above the top of my mailbox. Behold the healing power of massive cacti in the warm, late-afternoon desert. As I stood before these giant succulents, with the warm desert breeze floating by, I felt right. I needed to be at that place at that time. The beers didn’t hurt the situation either. Midwestern winters are long, cold, and gray. Oh the gray. That’s the worst part. So here I stand. Blue sky, wisps of white clouds, warm sunshine, beautiful, old desert “trees”. A ten-year-old Saguaro cactus might only be 1.5″ tall which tells me these 30-footers have seen many beautiful days like this. Breathe it in. Tomorrow, northward to a vortex.

A Vortex
I had experienced my first vortex a couple of years ago. I needed to go back to visit one again– preferably the same one (to do an apples-to-apples comparison)– to see if it had the same effect on me. Thankfully it did. What is a vortex? They are “energy fields” for lack of better words. There are a number of them around Sedona. Native-Americans held these special areas in high regard. Spiritual and religious folk visit them today to reinforce their beliefs. My theory is purely scientific– a concentration of minerals within the earth that makes some connection to the minerals/chemicals (potassium, calcium, iron, etc.) within the human body. Like a magnet. Higher concentrations of certain elements result in a more pronounced feeling. For example; I feel it strongly, my wife feels it a little bit, my kids feel nothing. What is the feeling? It is like a gentle magnetic pull. Not oppressive, but positive in nature. It brings a feeling of utter relaxation and contentment, an almost slow-motion floating, and it lasts well after you leave the site. A good 24+ hours for me.

So, what is the point to this entry? It’s a reminder to take a break– to change things up periodically. To keep your eyes and your mind open. To have both new and reinforcing experiences. To appreciate life. This makes you better; as a person and as a creative professional. —Brad Carlyle

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