GRAND CANYON, AZ
Grand Canyon cannot be photographed. Its scale defies any representation,
and being there is always a shock, however many times one has visited.
The canyon is 18 miiles long and a mile deep. A MILE. The elevation
at the south rim is over 7,000 feet in altitude, and the river runs
at 2,000 feet above sea level. Our visit was made somewhat painful by
the human proclivity to test the fates. An alarming number of people
ignore the warnings about staying on the paths, and feel compelled to
walk over to the edge to have their picture taken. Why? But then I don't
understand mountain climbers, either. We were fortunate to be there
two days before the first big snows came, and there were relatively
few kamikaze tourists, so we could walk long sections of the rim trail
without doing serious damage to our sphincters. Somebody said that fear
is just the inability to supress the imagination. The Grand Canyon is
the world's best confirmation of this theory. It is also proof that
human representations by graphic means will never supplant direct experience
where scale is at issue. I think I remember that Kant defined the sublime
(as opposed to the beautiful) in virtue of its component of terror.
This canyon is sublime.
Copyright© 2002 - Darrell Taylor