We give names to mountains and streams, deserts and rivers, because these natural landmarks impart a sense of personality to their space.
The Watchman in Zion National Park, Utah (southwest USA) is a landmark that lives up to and completely fills its name. Standing sentinel over the entrance of the park, The Watchman commands its space, and those who stay in the campground of the park feel as if it is there as a protector – a watchman, keeping eye on things.
There is a sense of security in being watched over and guided, a sensation that few of us feel once we grow out of childhood into the world of adults.
There is no such sense of security and goodness to an office cubicle or parking lot, the interior of a box store or the inside of our car – places “modern” humans spend a lot of time in. In these places we feel boxed in, limited, channeled and controlled. And while we indeed may feel watched, it is not in the good sense – the sense that someone cares about us and has our best interests at heart.
But at Zion National Park, the watching is different, and though The Watchman looms over us and fills our visual space, it does not limit and circumscribe but rather, invites us to look up, up, up to its heights, and from there up to the sky.
“What would it be like,” we wonder, “to stand atop that rock? What would the view be like?”
Do we ever have thoughts like this in a carpeted office cubicle?
Probably not. And for this reason it is important that we get out, get away, get to places where there is nothing between us and the sky, and the imposing cliffs before us do not fully block our view, but inspire us to see more of it.
Featured in 32 Fine Art America groups.
January 23rd, 2019
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