To step into desert far enough you no longer see cars or houses brings a break with convention. Returning from one exploration with Kokopelli, I view the town as a mound of pea pods. Next, it becomes peanuts (which aren’t raised in these parts). Eventually, as packages of Grape-Nut Flakes — each building containing bodies, nothing more. Entire cities appear as collections of books identical to a room of cardboard boxes. Every abode duplicates a television set. I know this isn’t how people should be living. This isn’t freedom. This isn’t personality. We have our work cut out, don’t we? If Kokopelli hadn’t come this way earlier, I might have feared for my sanity. Instead, I know the brain’s a weird instrument and let it go at that.

Imagine undertaking a trip where there are no road signs, no maps, no pages of text. You have no way of knowing how far to the next town, gas station, restaurant, motel, or campground. Ask people and hope they know. With utter sincerity, half of them give bogus information. The other half lie. Without a guide, all the books you’ve read can’t possibly help find the marker, YOU ARE HERE. Your teacher embodies map, compass, path, and highway. If you have the genuine article, it’s better than an Interstate speedway. If it’s false, watch out. I wished my own were closer. I was running on memories. As my Teacher said, “When you think I-I-I, you’re a smoky fire blowing every which way. No I, no me, no my attachment means there’s no smoke, just a good hot flame burning clearly.” For me, this meant breaking out of my own shell. Would I have wings or claws? I hadn’t considered the spider.

At least I have Kokopelli, on occasion. Most of the time.

In this desert, I seek to unearth the hidden meanings of place. I return to a chart of Aboriginal names and translations, and substituted these for the Geological Survey’s designations. The mountain once known as Komo Kulshan is STEEP. That’s how it is when GOING FOR CLIMAX in the spiritual quest. You must keep asking, “What can I do WHERE I AM?” The answer? “Take another step dancing with your beloved.”

For more insights from the American Far West and Kokopelli, click here.

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