Oh, to make plans or to live in spontaneity? Is that the question?
Life is both what we make of it and the product of surprise. I am reminded of the fragile nature of our lives and the deep, healing bond of friendship. After attending the fun Hi-Desert Cultural Center opening night of “Almost Maine,” an eclectic collection of quirky, painfully true vignettes on the subject of love, I received a health alert from a dear friend and a sweet note from another. Are friendship and love not what really matter most, no matter where we roam?
There is no better place to bring a friend or lover than to the beautiful Hi Desert, with abundant attractions.
The draw of Joshua Tree National Park is ever present, providing a spiritual backdrop for artists and beckoning atmosphere for climbers, musicians, writers, actors, scientists, hikers and more.
This week, I had the unexpected joy of introducing guests to the JT National Park. From the Midwest, one had never set foot in the desert, and the other longed to return after childhood visits. I often forget to see through the eyes of the visitor and recognize the truly jaw-dropping landscape. Wracking my brain, I came up with terms such as “yucca brevafolia” (the official name of the Joshua Tree), the history of Barker Dam (cattle watering hole) and the death of Gram Parsons (rock star who died in Joshua Tree in 1973).
We popped in the Natural Sisters Cafe (my meat and potatoloving Midwestern guests loved the vegetarian cuisine!) for sustenance where we ran into local artist, Jenny Kane, director of JTLAB and host of Artists' Tea each Sunday morning at Cap Rock in the National Park.
I described the outdoor Joshua Tree Astronomy Theater and my guests longed to see our incredible star studded night skies.
On a longer visit I would have taken them to the Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, a true desert treasure. Art Opening Saturday February 4th will feature art and music. Chuck Caplinger, legendary desert artist and founder of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council and Miri Hunter, artist and musician, exhibit during February. When we returned home, I gave my guests a copy of the beautiful photography/poetry book about Barker Dam by local duo Cynthia Anderson (poet) and Bill Dahl (photographer). Reminder to self: pick up more at Gallery 62!
I hope you will take time to look through the events and places mentioned here at the Hi Desert Art and Culture Bulletin Board pages, plan your visit and remain open to the spontaneity and magic of the desert. Come prepared! Carry water always! Dress in layers. Desert winters can be unexpectedly cold with occasional snow! Yet, there are days you'll strip down to a tee shirt and often need sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat!
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writer, artist, observer, social commentator. I arrived to the Hi Desert 3 decades ago - to enter my chosen field. At the time, I saw the vast horizon as the end of the world. Now, I see it as the beginning of creativity.