Under the Lens...Arroyo Calamujue Rock
In the shadow of the crumbling mission I found you.
Your beauty lies in content, the weightiness of gold, its solidity, its everlastingness. Your gold is not shiny; it gleams from within as if generating its own heat.Your surface fractures in fish-scale layers. It is rich with iron stains, a rust-red sulfide bleeding. I like your other side best: the grass-yellow of the arroyo beneath the ruined foundations. From the fold-lined cavity exudes the scent of sulfur and the green garlicky aroma of arsenic.You are a rich rock evoking images of Spanish treasure, of gold bricks fabricated in the mill. Your gold paints your surface spreading over the quartz fractured by black-red veins.You have a heart…it is made of gold…
10 Febrero…I dreamt turquoise steps last night massive like the pyramids at Tenochtitlan. Today we follow turquoise up a draw finally finding the hole numbers sprayed on esquisto laminar or schist rocks. We marvel at the tenacity of the prospector who dug the thin turquoise layers from the strata, carried it down the jagged metamorphic canyon taking it out to market. Overhead the nooks and crannies are former living spaces like hunter’s blinds or lookout posts.
Happy to get back to the van. Cold all afternoon out of the sun with the wind howling up the canyon. No insects tonight; too windy. The van shakes. The wind gusts like walls of water from the canyons. The bushes squeak and whistle. I don’t sleep thinking a wall of water is about to wash us away.
In this landscape I am conspicuous standing out from the barrenness. Each slope, every wash, contains something different to look at, to consider.
I sort my sample rocks leaving a pile outside the van like a wordless monument to my passing, like a claim of my presence, that I was here following in the footsteps…
NEXT WEEK: The Art of Prospecting: A Long Walk Over Uneven Ground…The Fountain of Youth