I was nineteen years old when I took this trip with my mom and step dad. My brother and sister had just left home and my entire world had crumbled. Our family practiced shunning for disobeying you parents, and though my brother and sister were 22 and 23 years old at the time, the rules still applied. I was asked to choose between leaving home and being shunned myself, or to cut off all contact from them. I had just spent 16 years of my life sharing a room with my brother. My parents said I should be angry with him for doing this to me, to us, but I wasn't. Even though there was a lot of hurt there, it was really directed toward my parents, who though I was steeped in their belief system, I instinctually knew they had lost their way.
That fall they took me on a trip around the southwest, which is one of my favorite places on earth.
There is this cool spine, a sort of divide that runs down the middle of the platue right up to the base of Shiprock. No one talks about this feature when the go visit the big rock, but to me this dividing line was what caught my interest. It was always the margins that interested me, after the fireworks in the sky, I am always interested at looking back and seeing the faces of people watching the pizzaz, than the pizzaz itself.