Alone with Myself

Date: Oct. 21, 2013/Time: around 12:00/Location: 30 minutes outside of Nazca City

We had been riding a bus from Lima to Punta San Juan and one of our stops was in the middle of a dried up delta. This desert seemed to stretch for miles on either side of the road until reaching the foothills of mountains in the distance. As I walked around looking for a good place to sit, I heard the crunch of gravel under my feet. A few times I would randomly kick a piece of stone and listened to the ringing as it bounced off another. It’s difficult to explain why but I’ve always loved hearing these two sounds. Something from my childhood maybe when I often explored the creeks and rivers in my neighborhood. When I found my spot I looked around me and saw a number of things which struck me as fascinating. The first was right in front of me was known to be the biggest sand dune however I do not know if it has name or not. As I gazed at it, I wondered what it would be like to try and climb it. I’ve climbed sand dunes before however nothing of this size. The conditions would make it very difficult with the scalding sand and winds but it would be very interesting to give it a whirl. Peeling my eyes away from the sand dune I looked around to see where my fellow peers had settled to do their soundscape. What amazed me what that I could barely make out their profile because they were so tiny against a background of the desert and mountains. Once again proving that we aren’t the biggest thing or the most important in a picture.

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Sometimes all I could hear was the wind in my ears as it swept across this deserted place but every now and then I could just barely make out the sand moving around on the ground. The wind wasn’t loud enough to block the sounds of cars that were passing through on the road. It really annoyed me that I wasn’t far enough away from the road because I didn’t want to hear them. But I could, it was almost like an unnecessary noise here in the middle of this desert far from civilization. The reminder that humans occupy almost all the places on the planet in some way or form whether that be cities or just roads connecting one place to another. I tried tuning the cars out but it was difficult because I instantly recognize noises that come from man-made things.

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During the last few minutes of my soundscape I felt somewhat empty inside because this place was void of any life except for us. There weren’t any animals meandering on the ground or flying above my head, not even the tiniest of creatures like lizards or beetles. Instead I had to use my imagination to think of creatures who could live in this harsh environment. It’s hard to believe that this was once a delta full of marine life but now is just a desolate and hot desert. Later I was told there are animals that live here but that they only come out at night. Still I felt uncertain and discomfort while there because it felt barren and isolated from everything else. I guess that is why it also felt like I was in a time capsule or something because I lost time all together. This place held a sort of mystery and fascination for me and I wonder if there will ever be a time in the future where it will once again be inhabited by animals or humans.

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