This has been yet another week where I've been too sick to go anywhere, so here are some previously-unpublished pics I took of a trip to Stanford University's Dish Loop, site of the radio-telescope known as Big Dish, in April 2009. That particular day quickly became very emotional for me, and I still recall the intense feelings as I look at each image. Ever since that day I have avoided the folder on my laptop in which I stored these pics. I even have trouble driving past the Dish Loop without dreadful recollections resurfacing, and in spite of the lovely scenery and numerous photo opportunities I have felt little desire to retrace my steps there and risk reliving the experience all over again. Perhaps by posting the images here I can put these particular ghosts to bed.
These are lichens on the bridge over San Francisquito Creek near the trail head. They also signify how little I knew of what was about to happen shortly.
A few steps farther along the trail, after the day took a sharp lurch downward, I recall wishing I could spend the rest of the day in the tranquil shade of the creek, alone.
I remember how the anguish inside me put me at odds with the placid landscape, thrusting me behind an oblique curtain through which I could see but not interact.
The incongruity of the enormous radio-telescope in the spacious pastoral setting echoes how out-of-body I felt at the time, how disconnected from the time and place of that particular moment, that setting.
Former ranching land, fences yet remain here, meaningless features persisting in a landscape with no further use for them. They continue to trace boundaries no longer relevant but still observed by force of habit.
Big Dish eternally listens but does not disclose what it hears. People pass by, assuming there is no meaning.
I recall envying the ground squirrel getting some sun. In its world there is no confusion, no uncertainty, no ambiguity, no betrayal. Its world is simple and straightforward, small but manageable. I recall wanting to trade lives with it.
A singular white fire hydrant stands in a field, all but engulfed by tall grass. I recall imagining that by the parched and scorching end of summer it would be nearly inaccessible, drowned beneath a sea of overgrown brush and weeds, hidden and invisible when the need for its quenching waters would be greatest.
Big Dish, alone out in the endless rolling hills, looking for answers from a silent, benignly indifferent sky.