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uploaded: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 @ 5:58 PM last modified: Tue, Oct 7, 2014 @ 8:59 AM  (add)
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I just had to do it.


I went to a desert rave in the Mojave. I arrived just before dusk, as the light started to soften and the intense heat of the day started letting up. The rave had already been going on for over 24 hours. The thump thump thump of the subwoofer reverberated. It was incessant. I walked away from the camp in an attempt to find a moment of peace before nightfall.

As I walked into the desert, I was hoping to experience the expansiveness of the environment — the plane of earth that stretched forever until it became mountains so far off into the distance their height was diminished by the scope of the sky. The sky was infinite. While there was an abundance of shrubby growth, I was struck by the complete absence of animal life. No lizards. No flying insects. No birds. And even though I was on a tortoise preserve, there was no sign of any tortoises. There were burrows that evidenced life, and I was afraid that I may come across a rattlesnake as I made walked farther away from the camp. But there was no evidence of such life. This surprised me, as any other time I had been in the desert, I had seen so many different creatures.

As I walked, I couldn’t help but look at the rocks and pebbles on the ground. Beautiful bits of marbled quartz lined the desert floor. I was torn between wanting to look at all the sparkling rocks embedded in sand, and wanting to experience the vastness of the landscape I was now a part of. My internal dialogue was directing me to look up, to look out. So I started walking with my gaze deliberately forward.

I do not know how my attention was drawn back to the ground after my conscientous attempt to connect with the infinite that the desert landscape promised, but suddenly, I somehow noticed an ant freeway on the desert floor. There were two lanes of black ants, going in opposite directions. It was rush hour with multitudes of ants scurrying one way or the other in singular formation. This was the first sign of animal life I had seen since I arrived.

Before I could redirect my attention back to the panorama, I noticed an ant carrying a minute feather. The feather was at nearly as long as the ant itself. It held the feather afore and aloft like a prideful prize. It hustled along the desert floor that was littered with pebbles, negotiating the ant traffic with what appeared to be a purposeful commitment — take the feather home!

I was transfixed! I didn’t want to take my eyes off the ant. I followed it as it hurried along. I watched it climb over pebbles that must have felt like enormous boulders to the ant. I watched it as it collided with other ants. I watched it scurry without once stopping. At some point, it travelled so far, I found that I had taken several steps to stay with it. Not once did it drop its prize.
I followed the ant as it made its way back to the ant hill — a burrow in the ground that swallowed and spewed ants like a whirpool. It disappeared into the entrance, carrying its precious feather cargo.

I walked back to the camp, and rejoined the rave.

You can see pictures here.

If you want the pella for remixing — let me know and I’ll upload it.

by SackJo22

2014 - Licensed under
Creative Commons
Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Click here for how to give credit and other conditions.

Editorial pick

Exciting, thumping EDM with an engaging spoken word, catchy refrain, and soul stirring vocalizations. SackJo22’s vocal remix of Snowflake’s remix of alexjc916, Vidian, and George Ellinas make this one party that is NOT TO BE MISSED. Give a listen. For an incredible multimedia experience, be sure to visit SackJo22’s website for the photos that accompany her spoken word story about the Mojave Desert (there’s a link at the bottom of her remix description).

Kara Square