If you’re wondering why I’m posting today instead of Jilly, the answer is simple. I’ve been road tripping around Arizona with several of the other ladies this week, and put off writing my post (so much to see and do) until it was too late. Thankfully, Jilly bailed my butt out by swapping days with me (THANKS, JILLY!!!).
Still, it wasn’t all breathless Grand Canyon views and inspirational Navajo stories (or love songs). Each stop along the way enhanced some aspect of my story. The trip to the Navajo Nation (Monument Valley) was important to the motivation and characterization of my antagonist (Hawk), as well as to Cheyenne’s return to her cultural and spiritual roots. Our stay at a historic railroad hotel in Winslow, Arizona will play a central role in my next story, and the Grand Canyon was a lesson in the value of quiet reflection.
After each stop, I was sure we had reached the pinnacle of beauty and magic. Surely the next stop on our itinerary would never top the last. And then I walked into Antelope Canyon.
Deeper than they are wide, slot canyons can be found throughout the world, but the largest (and best known) concentration of slot canyons can be found in the southwest U.S.(mostly in Utah & Arizona). Most slot canyons are hard to reach, but with the right equipment (a four wheel drive and directions) almost anyone can access them (however a tour is highly recommended). Unlocking the canyon secrets, however, requires the ability to stretch your imagination, to be patient, and to open yourself to possibilities.
While touring the canyon our guide pointed out a variety of rock formations that according to her told a particular story. In some areas the light would hit the rock just so, and (according to our guide) illuminate intwined lovers or some aspect of nature or sometimes even an animal. To be honest, at first I couldn’t see it.
Then Kim (our guide) took my camera from me, moved to a particular spot, adjusted her angle and snapped away. When she handed the camera back, I was amazed to see a heart (her photo is featured above). Not only did she have the vision, she was able to frame it in such a way that she could pass it along to me.
Some people believe that Antelope Canyon is a photographers’ paradise, and it is, but more than that, it’s an object lesson for writers. We are the view finder, the frame that allows the reader to see our vision.