Grand Junction, CO

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by Jan Seides
Tuesday 30th June, 2009, 4:17am

picture-5I have a gig here in Grand Junction, at the Unity Church of Grand Junction. I got up at 7:00 am to play the Sunday morning service. Drove back down Highway 65 to I-70 and then 15 more miles to Grand Junction.

Rev. J. Douglas Bottorff, minister of the Unity Church of Grand Junction.

Rev. J. Douglas Bottorff, minister of the Unity Church of Grand Junction.

Back in Denver, I’d had a pretty disturbing conversation with a friend, that I was still attempting to interpret on Sunday morning. Despite the fact that the scenery was awe-inspiring, I was still ruminating about what the conversation might have meant, and I had a giant case of the “I-shoulda-said”s. For one thing, it had to do with Israel, which always draws my undivided attention, and for another, it was loaded with Faux News talking points, which always makes me feel a little desperate. The gist of it was that our new president (who, according to Fox News and my friend, who is a smart man and should know better) had sold Israel down the river and that, once Israel was disposed of nuclearly, we would be next. Oh, and  by the way, Obama is a Muslim and not even born in this country. All of which is untrue — just so you know. And I would still think he was the right man for the job, no matter what his religion or lack thereof.

I was probably more charitable than I might have been otherwise, because I had just read Rev. Bottorff’s book, in preparation for this gig. In the chapter he asked me to be familiar with and to choose my songs around, he discussed the way in which people tend to have the same negative experiences repeatedly, because of what they are bringing with them to the experience (AKA “baggage”), and their negative self-image.

But during his sermon, he talked about a catamaran trip he took with his wife on Lake Powell in Utah, where they camped on a tiny spit of land on the river that feeds the lake. The catamarans they were using could be pedaled, paddled, or sailed. People had warned them of the winds, which rose while they were camped. Gale-force winds. Nothing small and benign. They made it through the night, in total darkness and high winds and finally, Doug decided to go out into the lake, just to find out if they could. He kept a journal of the whole trip, and at one point during their adventure, this is what he wrote:

“It occurs to me that fear is a lot like a flashlight beam in the night. When you turn it on, the beam it throws is all you can see. But if you turn it off, you can see the stars, perhaps the Milky Way, even the Universe”

As soon as he said it, I realized that these words were the real reason I was here in this place at this time. All of that conversation that had me so upset had to do with fear, which is what Fox News feeds. Fear is contagious. I probably need to be more careful, not only about the judgments I make, but also about how influenced I allow myself to be.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears, so they say.

Scenery on the way to Grand Junction:

Coming down the mountain from the Powderhorn Goldenwoods Resort

Coming down the mountain from the Powderhorn Goldenwoods Resort

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On the Interstate, just east of Grand Junction, which, by the way, is the junction of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers.

On the Interstate, just east of Grand Junction, which, by the way, is the junction of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers.

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One of the great mesas of the Palisades.

Category: Travel

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