Thursday, December 25, 2008

Open Range

Sounds of 2008
14. Drive-by Truckers: The Monument Valley

During my time in The United States I took two fabulous road trips through the glorious scenery of Arizona.

From the spectacle of Canyon De Chelly to the overwhelming Grand Canyon, Arizona offers one stunning experience after another.

But my favorite place in Arizona is Monument Valley. It has a calmness and spiritual atmosphere unequalled in the west.

The trip I took there with my dad was special. He's a big fan of western movies, particularly the John Ford classics which were shot in Monument Valley.

It was a dream come true for my dad as he gawped at the astonishing western scenery. He could hardly believe he was standing in the very place where his childhood movie fantasies were created.

Another time I visited Monument Valley with my friend Ian. I'll never forget the profound feelings I experienced while gazing through the 'North Window' across the magnificent plains.

As my mind reflected on the Navajos' unique bond with their land, I had what I think was the single most religious experience of my life. It became manifested in a sense of deep connection with the earth and a joyous awareness of my own insignificance.

Later that day, while dusk was falling, Ian and I sat on a butte overlooking the canyon as the local indians chanted ancient songs and beat their drums. The sky ran blood red, and as the echoes of indian lamentations filled the valley we were moved to tears.

On this year's fantastic Brighter than Creation's Dark LP, Drive By Truckers sing about "a time to turn your back on the comforts of home/ and wander round the Monument Valley alone." It's then you'll feel the pain and glory of history and the profound beauty of the open range.

Listen: Drive-by Truckers MySpace

No comments: