Stark places have a way of stripping all the superfluous thoughts away. Stark realities have a way of bringing us to the places within that we spend a lot of time and energy avoiding. I have always liked stark places. Desolate places. Dry and windswept desert landscapes. Or urban wastelands of rusted indust-reality. Places no one seems to want any more, or places no one has figured out how to exploit. The hinterlands between the favorite gathering hubs of culture. These are the kinds of places that lay my own mind and soul open - they take over my senses and breath for me. With out them I am lost in a labyrinth of faces and contact of people - like a man trapped on an interstate in a traffic jamb. Alone. Surrounded. In that groove we are all stuck in a tractor beam of self and other awareness. But in a desolation - alone- there is only a self, and it is poignantly insignificant. And this draws the awareness of the keen part of the mind to the other. Which is not human. But which, I imagine, contains humans, in the manner that the skin of a beautiful woman contains a mole. And I am, at once, fragile, and incapable of survival, and expansive beyond all limitations of flesh and worrisome circumstance.