Behind rock in Keams Canyon

As a teenager in the Southwest before the cliff dwellings were fenced off, I got to climb around in some of the great cliff dwellings, and see a lot of other interesting things. One thing that particularly impressed me, was while we were exploring Keams Canyon in Arizona. The place was known as a place where some soldiers were pined down by the Indians for a long time. Their fate was not known to me. Wandering around in the place, now quiet, I found a few words scratched in a slab of red sandstone jutting out of the desert floor. A soldier had clearly been trapped behind that rock for a long time; his name and rank was carefully engraved into the upper part of the rock. It was easy to imagine him preparing this tombstone for himself, perhaps all that would be left of him when the savages (to his viewpoint, trying to stay alive a while longer) were done. No one to talk with, no one to help, and some unfriendlies nearby did not like him.
Sometimes writing in this blog I flash on such a feeling. No one posts a comment. No one seems to know I'm here. A voice crying in the wilderness. Yet, like a friendly hunk of red sandstone in the desert, upon the blog I write. And the writings are indication of a difference between not being here, and of being here.


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