John & Anne Wiley

2014/05/25

Invitations

Yesterday I was avoiding the tragic Isla Vista events partly by posting more pix from our 4C trip with Zubair & family. Last night a dear friend came over and we all faced it together, watching the news with many tears and much thoughtful conversation. Today I’m contemplating a connection between the horrific events, and my post yesterday. For me, the common thread is Invitations. When someone says or does something that triggers anger or sadness in me, it’s an Invitation to those feelings. I then choose, still too often unconsciously, what to feel. My life is a long story of learning this, and transforming my choice of feelings from childhood reactive impulse to conscious compassion for myself and others.

So today it’s helpful for me to take this news that has so shaken our entire community, as an Invitation to reconnect with happiness and beauty. That’s already happening in conversation with friends and loved ones, so right now I’m also taking a moment to complete a review of the final Invitation we accepted on that one enchanted day that began inside Antelope Canyon and included an experience of earth and sky on the rim of Horseshoe Bend.

8292 Returning

8292 Returning

As we descended quietly over the high mesa between the Paria and the Colorado, warm feelings of Return washed over me. Returning to an ancient yet for us recent place, with new perspective. Beyond this tight bend in the river of time, looking to the right where it takes a turn in the other direction we saw the place we’d be standing in a couple of hours.

8295 Viewpoint

8295 Viewpoint

Coming out the highway from Page and turning onto the short road to a parking lot at top right, we’d hike that dusty trail out to the rim and watch the sunset at this turning of the river where millions of people have gathered in awe.

8307 Horseshoe Bend

8307 Horseshoe Bend

Down there we’d have a different perspective on this view, with solid rock beneath us and the thrill of a sheer ledge open at our feet. We’d feel our hearts soaring with a raven in the wind and remember being up here looking down. From that sunset viewpoint we’d climb the outcrop at the bottom right where I embraced a powerful invitation to capture a new fav pic of my lifetime fav person with a passing squall in the distance and the sunlight in her hair. An invitation to feel and release pain, as consciousness expands to ever more fully enjoy this gift of Life.

8456 Life Invitation

8456 Life Invitation

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Second Invitation

So the second of our “Three Invitations” was when we looked up the Paria River that branches off the Colorado River at the top of Marble Canyon. We almost took a few minutes to fly up there for a look, but wanted to join Zubair and family at Page because they’d flown on ahead. Thus it was that on the same day as our trance-forming walk down into Lower Antelope Canyon, Tripp lifted us up over it and after a brief detour over Navajo Canyon we made the short hop West. In a few minutes we had this view back down the Paria River toward the distant top of Marble Canyon.

8181 Paria River Canyon

8181 Paria River Canyon

In places the river has carved a very deep and narrow channel through the rock, similar to yet different from the other carved gorges we’d seen.

8218 Deep & Narrow

8218 Deep & Narrow

The zig-zag in this spot really caught my eye. I wonder if many hikers explore the bottom there, presumably equipped with weather radios to listen for warnings and climbing gear to make a hasty exit in event of any rain in the region. In most places the channel was much wider, but in medium sized areas there are rock islands and complex shapes.

8242 Complex Carving

8242 Complex Carving

In this region is an area called Vermillion Cliffs where I thought we might spot The Wave but we didn’t know exactly where to look and probably flew too far North along the river to see it. In most places it was too dark at the bottom of the river to see much in the medium or narrow channels, but I did manage to get this view as we headed back to accept our third “invitation” (pix to share in my next post).

8257 Down & In

8257 Down & In

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