On Friday, I left abruptly to head to Arizona. I drove through terrible weather – buckets of rain, heavy winds that shake your car, fog that makes it hard to see. It was fantastic though. As I was driving, I was delighted to realize I was going to be able to catch the sunset on the road. As I turned a corner weaving through some mountainous areas, the weather broke and I found myself anticipating beautiful views ahead. I could barely stand it. Upon catching a mere glimpse of this view, I pulled over immediately without thinking and threw my car door open.
You can never spend too much time appreciating the world. The cars zipping by and heavy wind causing my own little minicooper to shake were hardly noticeable to me as I stood out looking at the gorgeous view. I bottled up the beauty and the feeling it left in me as I climbed back into my car to join the rest of folks mindlessly driving along.
Soon after this view, I came upon a FIELD of wind turbines. It was one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen as it literally reminded me of those scary alien movies I watched as a kid. I watched with fascination as these massive machines spun seemingly effortlessly. I wanted to flag down other cars to say “LOOK! Do you see these marvelous creations?! Humanity is so weird!” but it seemed I was the only one who was stirred by these… things 😉 Every time I see something like this, I keep thinking about what folks 100, 200, 500 years ago would think if they saw them just to put it into perspective. If you didn’t know better, it almost looks like an attempt to control the direction of the earth – like a rudder or propellor of some sort.
As I wrapped up my day in Arizona on Saturday, I found myself driving on Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard searching for gas when it dawned on me how unusual it was that there would be a boulevard named after someone for no reason. I did a quick Google maps search and found that Taliesin West was located in Scottsdale about 15 minutes from where I was. It was nearing 3:30pm at this point and with a 6 hour drive ahead of me I paused hesitant to delay my trip any longer. Like the beautiful sunset though, I found myself instinctively entering the address into my phone and heading that way. I managed to make it just in time to jump on the start of a tour.
I have been to Fallingwater in PA (another one of his designs) with my Uncle and was captured by the man who designed these spaces. As a minimalist and a lover of functionality, Frank Lloyd Wright is an architect who embraced this. There are stories of him spending hours on a property learning how to blend nature into his work. He loved using organic materials (materials that came from nearby areas) rather than hauling in foreign objects to build his structures. He thought about things like where the light would hit when you’re eating breakfast or working and how he can best position his designs to take advantage of these subtleties. Everything is simple yet complex – everything has a purpose. I love it. I learned on this tour that he was a lover of psychology and sunsets – a man after my own heart 😉 These are the kinds of folks I wish I could have met.
After this fantastic delay, I finally hit the road blasting jams on my iphone which inevitably means listening to music from my middleschool/highschool days as that’s the only music I’ve ever purchased. I peacefully watched the sunset and sipped on my recently purchased redbull ready for the trek ahead. I didn’t realize it on my way over due to the horrible weather but there are some utterly dark parts of this trip where you barely see signs of civilization. The kind of darkness that’s nearly mesmerizing in that it makes everything feel both meaningless and limitless all at once.
I’m a big fan of stars – some of my favorite memories are conversations that have happened late at night/early in the morning underneath the beautiful night sky when the rest of the world has long since gone to sleep. At some point in this drive, I glanced outside briefly. It was just enough time for my brain to recognize that this level of darkness and remoteness offered the great advantage of perfect stargazing. Again I found myself against my better judgment pulling over. This time, I didn’t get out but merely rolled down my window to pause and appreciate. The music I was listening to continued to play, my headlights remained on, and I remained in my car. I continued on falsely satisfied that I saw what I needed to.
As one might guess at this point, I pulled over not even 15 minutes later. I turned the car all the way off. I got out and leaned against my little minicooper straining my neck and my eyes to take it all in. I embraced the delay – I don’t regret it.