Urgent and fierce - a response to Ruby Gap in the MacDonnell Ranges east of Alice Springs.
The urgency was on my part, an expression of my desperation to try to see/capture/understand/hold the experience of that fierce landscape.
And fierce, the intuitive response of my line to my intoxication - at the incomprehensible newness of what I was encountering. I was stripped bare of all my sixty-six years of accumulated ‘stuff’, just as these rearing stone cliffs has been stripped bare by the wearing (wearying?) processes of uncountable time.
In the Ruby Gap area, the rock strata has been overturned so that what was once bottom strata is now on top, uplifted red cliffs of hard but fragile sandstone. The now bottom, and geologically younger layer, was folded into tight curls under the huge pressure of a violent process (poetically called orogenony or mountain forming) that actually crawled into place at a pace far slower than a snail. So that is what ‘awesome’ means.
To be in the Centre of Australia is as tough as looking into deep space photos taken by the Hubble Space Craft. The carpet of bright lights in the dark revealed by the Hubble camera are actually whole galaxies not simple stars. That image is somehow beyond my capacity to encompass because I am locked in the evanescent point of view of a human life. So too the landscape of the Centre. I simply don’t figure in relation to its vastness, both of age and size.
I am grateful I have learned to draw. That skill allowed me to be in the presence of that incomprehensibility, sort of on the sly, and, to whatever small degree, meet it.
urgent fierce