The stars are beautiful, because of a flower that cannot be seen... The desert is beautiful, " the little prince added. And that was true. I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams... "What makes the desert beautiful, " said the little prince, "is that somewhere it hides a well... " I was astonished by a sudden understanding of that mysterious radiation of the sands.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
If this were so; if the desert were 'home'; if our instincts were forged in the desert; to survive the rigours of the desert - then it is easier to understand why greener pastures pall on us; why possessions exhaust us, and why Pascal's imaginary man found his comfortable lodgings a prison.
To me, desert has the quality of darkness; none of the shapes you see in it are real or permanent. Like night, the desert is boundless, comfortless, and infinite. Like night, it intrigues the mind and leads it to futility. When you have flown halfway across a desert, you experience the desperation of a sleepless man waiting for dawn which only comes when the importance of its coming is lost.
If you can survive in the desert, you survive anywhere. I know more than anything life in desert. You can tell by looking at the dirt how long ago it rained, how hard it rained, how much water came through. You can by looking at a plant, a tree, from an animal's look. I can read the desert like I read my hand.
How do you view God in a desert? There's two types of birds. There's vultures, and there's hummingbirds. One lives off dead carcasses, rotting meat. The other lives off the beautiful, sweet, nectar in a particular flower, on a particular desert plant, in the same desert. They both find what they're looking for. Do you know - take it all the way back into the Old Testament - and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah, to a Muslim; to us, Abba Father, God.
The air was cool and soft. The desert looked empty from our great height, enough to believe the geographers and travel writers who tell of the terrible desert life, the stillness, harshness, and death. I lay against the cold sand, tiny grains dancing fast and furious across my skin. I saw insects and scorpions, the line of a snake. Mohammed said the dunes moved millimeters a day. They inched across the desert floor toward the ocean. I smiled. The geographers were blind.
C. Lynn Murphy
For me, exploration was a personal venture. I did not go to the Arabian desert to collect plants nor to make a map; such things were incidental. At heart I knew that to write or even to talk of my travels was to tarnish the achievement. I went there to find peace in the hardship of desert travel and the company of desert peoples. I set myself a goal on these journeys, and, although the goal itself was unimportant, its attainment had to be worth every effort and sacrifice... No, it is not the goal but the way there that matters, and the harder the way the more worth while the journey.
The serious person becomes handicapped, he creates barriers. He cannot dance, he cannot sing, he cannot celebrate. The very dimension of celebration disappears from his life. He becomes desert-like. And if you are a desert, you can go on thinking and pretending that you are religious but you are not.
In northern architecture - the cathedrals of Europe and all the little churches - the details, the carving of stone, become necessary because the light is not there to help you very much. You have to enrich surfaces. The desert reduces form to its simplest nature. There is no need for gargoyles or flying buttresses in the desert.
I. M. Pei
When I came to this city, I would have agreed with anyone who said there was little mystery left in the world. But in you, madam, first in your image, then in your living self, I saw the allure of something far away and as secret as the stars. As I reached towards this unknown, I began to feel like a man who has ridden through a vast desert, never knowing anything but the sand around him and the dry road under him, then comes upon the mirage of a garden and a city, and finds that the mirage is real, and that it is bigger than the desert; that the desert was, after all his walking, only a small part of the mirage' 'Then you felt love, which is the state of feeling desire and the fulfillment of desire at the same time, ' she said.
For the first time after so many years I come back to cry aloud in the desert. Because this is the mission of the intellectual who is truly a prophet-to cry in the desert. The greatest of the prophets, Isaiah, made it notable, of course, when he spoke of himself as the voice of one "crying in the wilderness." Because the mission of the intellectual is to be the man who, from his desert, his basic solitude-and man is only man amid his truth, only himself when he is alone-cries aloud to others and invites them to each into his own solitude.
Jose Ortega y Gasset
The first 600 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, before you get into the Sierra Nevada mountain range, is heavy on desert. One of the things I carry with me in the desert is an umbrella. People think that's insane. It has a shiny top to it, so it looks totally ridiculous, but the difference can be 20 degrees.
Strolling on, it seems to me that the strangeness and wonder of existence are emphasized here, in the desert, by the comparative sparsity of the flora and fauna: life not crowded upon life as in other places but scattered abroad in spareness and simplicity, with a generous gift of space for each herb and bush and tree, each stem of grass, so that the living organism stands out bold and brave and vivid against the lifeless sand and barren rock. The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life-forms. Love flowers best in openness and freedom.
i had to test your courage, ' the stranger said. 'courage is the quality most essential to understand the Language of the World.'.. 'you must not let up, even after having come so far, ' he continued. 'you must love the desert, but never trust it completely. because the desert tests all men: it challenges every step, and kills those who become distracted.
The desert ... may serve better as the backdrop for the problematic relationship between man and the environment. The human struggle, the successes ... both noble and foolish, are readily apparent in the desert. Symbols and relationships seem to arise that stand for the human condition itself.
Maybe the desert wisdom of the Dakotas can teach us to love anyway, to love what is dying, in the face of death, and not pretend that things are other than they are. The irony and wonder of all of this is that it is the desert's grimness, its stillness and isolation, that brings us back to love.
In the desert we rediscover the value of what is essential for living; thus in today's world there are innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life. And in the desert people of faith are needed who, by the example of their own lives, point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive.
Pope Benedict XVI
Throughout history there have been many men and women who have chosen to imitate Jesus as he withdraws into the desert... To pass time in the desert means to create a little emptiness and silence around us, to rediscover the road to our heart, to remove ourselves from the noise and external distractions, to enter into contact with the deepest source of our being and our faith.
If this practice [of totalitarianism] is compared with [... ] [the desert] of tyranny, it seems as if a way had been found to set the desert itself in motion, to let loose a sand storm that could cover all parts of the inhabited earth. The conditions under which we exist today in the field of politics are indeed threatened by these devastating sand storms.
...to experience the reality was to suffer a boredom as endless as the illness itself...the boredom of insanity was a great desert, so great that anyone's violence or agony seemed an oasis, and the brief companionship seemed like a rain in the desert that was numbered and counted and remembered long after it was gone.
In the desert you become a discoverer. You discover your soul, which had been submerged in vain pursuits, which had been lost in the coils and toils of modern life. You discover your kinship with nature and man, which is evoked by the naturalness and the gentle humanity of the natives of the desert, and you will also discover God.
History has taught us that often lies serve her better than the truth, for man is sluggish and has to be led through the desert for forty years before each step in his development. And he has to be driven through the desert with threats and promises, by imaginary terrors and imaginary consolations, so that he should not sit down prematurely to rest and divert himself by worshipping golden calves.
It's strange how deserts turn us into believers. I believe in walking in a landscape of mirages, because you learn humility. I believe in living in a land of little water because life is drawn together. And I believe in the gathering of bones as a testament to spirits that have moved on. If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self.
Terry Tempest Williams
in the desert the detachment of life from all normal intercourse imparts a sense of gravity to every rencontre, and each touch with human beings is fraught with a significance lacking in the too hurried intercourse of ordinary everyday life. On the desert track, there is no such thing as a casual meeting ...
The 'Desert' sweeps up to the walls of Baghdad, but it is a misnomer to call the vast level of rich, stoneless, alluvial soil a desert. It is a dead flat of uninhabited earth; orange colocynth balls, a little wormwood, and some alkaline plants which camels eat, being its chief products. After the inundations, reedy grass grows in the hollows.
I've crossed these sands many times," said one of the camel drivers one night. "But the desert is so huge, and the horizons so distant, that they make a person feel small, and as if he should remain silent." The boy understood intuitively what he meant, even without ever having set foot in the desert before. Whenever he saw the sea, or a fire, he fell silent, impressed by their elemental force.
It is very hard to live with silence. The real silence is death and this is terrible. To approach this silence, it is necessary to journey to the desert. You do not go to the desert to find identity, but to loses it, to lose your personality, to be anonymous. You make yourself void. You become silence. You become more silent than the silence around you. And then something extraordinary happens: you hear silence speak.
I would enter the desert alone, to leave in the sand endless footprints only to be obliterated by the wind, to walk the same path each day expecting the same path tomorrow, and perhaps to cease wondering at the bloom and wither of lilies only to linger for death. But no, even in the desert, I would seek a new sanctuary, to contemplate a grain of sand in a sea of dryness...
(The tournament) was one of my more favorite stops and I know a lot of players love playing in the desert and it's good to see it's staying in the desert. Obviously playing the event for 14 or 15 years, I love the two weeks I would spend there. I have a home close to there and I can have a presence at the event now that I'm a very small piece to a big puzzle.
Earthly love is a brief and penurious stream, which only flows in spring, with a long summer drought. The change from a burning desert, treeless, springless, drear, to green fields and blooming orchards in June, is slight in comparison with that from the desert of this world's affection to the garden of God, where there is perpetual, tropical luxuriance of blessed love.
Henry Ward Beecher
The desert seems to be a brown wasteland of dry, prickly scrub whose only purpose is to serve as a setting for the majestic saguaros. Then, little by little, the plants of the desert begin to identify themselves: the porcupiny yucca, the beaver tail and prickly pear and barrel cacti, buckhorn and staghorn and devil's fingers, the tall, sky-reaching tendrils of the ocotillo.
All I know: I could only encounter you, my oasis, coming out of a desert. Deserted myself. This is all right. My futureless and solitary self. When suddenly I hear the voice of the springs-Right away you made me want to sing. To cry. Then to drink. But after the desert, the merest trickle of water sounds like a storm. And ever since, Promethea's every murmur shakes my life like an earthquake. I was asleep. I was not thirsty. It would have been possible for me not to hear the first three tears. Ever since I never sleep. I listen.
It is the easiest thing in the world for us to obey God when He commands us to do what we like, and to trust Him when the path is all sunshine. The real victory of faith is to trust God in the dark, and through the dark. Let us be assured of this, that if the lesson and the rod are of His appointing, and that His all-wise love has engineered the deep tunnel of trial on the heavenward road. He will never desert us during the discipline. The vital thing for us is not to deny and desert Him.
Theodore L. Cuyler
You who prattle that morality is social and that man would need no morality on a desert island - it is on a desert island that he would need it most. Let him try to claim, when there are no victims to pay for it, that a rock is a house, that sand is clothing, that food will drop into his mouth without cause or effort, that he will collect a harvest tomorrow by devouring his stock seed today - and reality will wipe him out, as he deserves; reality will show him that life is a value to be bought and that thinking is the only coin noble enough to buy it.