Altered States?

#692/235: A View from Above // I look out through binoculars...

Altered States?
Image by David Greaves

A View from Above

I look out through binoculars. Confined to its narrow course a mile below, the Snake River is swallowed by the walls of Hells Canyon. From the high overlook, there is nothing to see except a panoramic vastness seemingly divorced from the potent force that created it. Viewing a small slice of the Colorado River for the first time is one of the most exciting moments of hiking down the Grand Canyon, not because of any extra grandeur, but because of the sudden connection between cause and effect; the secret suddenly revealed. Even at the bottom, the waters seem puny in comparison to the surrounding topography. The disconnect—that created this?—compounds the profundity. Larger, and longer forces, of course, are at work. Gazing out last week, a thin line cutting across a fairly barren mountainside came into view, a path that descends to the Snake I later confirmed on a map. I imagined hiking it, my mind wanting to make a link between up here and now, and down there twenty years ago when I rafted through the canyon and only had the perspective of looking up. Two decades, not even a millisecond in geologic time. Foresight was still more idea than reality. It is late. Earlier this evening, I was browsing through LinkedIn where everything appears significant, comparable, better. Measurement is always relative and universes come in all scales, whether their intrinsic connections are visible or not.


Peter Nicholson

Peter Nicholson

Peter is a writer, multidisciplinary creative, and entrepreneur who founded Circa 250; Foresight Design Initiative, a sustainability-focused innovation consultancy; and Yoga Horizons, a yoga studio.

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