The Artwork of Michael Divine

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Dinosaurs and Hot Springs

April 21st, 2006

In the afternoon light, climbing the hill once again we made our way back to the car, thirsty, a little sun worn and needing respite. At the parking area, above the river, we opened the trunk and rummaged through the cooler. Vitamin Waters it was. Cold and refreshing: vitamins, water, a little fruit juice, a little sugar. What a brilliant idea. The only way it could be better is if there was no added sugar to begin with.

Relaxing. Leaning against tree. Violet sitting on edge of bumper. Beside us a giant RV beginning the sluggish task of backing out of the dirt parking area and into the road. Through the window of the great creaking and groaning dinosaur, we see four overweight middle-aged men sitting at a table preparing a card game and eating baby carrots. Baby carrots are such a scam: large carrots that are simply whittled away to be “baby carrots.” Baby-ized carrots is a better name

The driver of the RV gave us a look of “here goes” and began to back over the knobby root of the tree we were leaning against. We gave him a look of “you’d better just gun it.” And we all knew what would happen. He would gun it, the guys inside would be like “Hey! Whoa there! Yo easy does it man!” And sure enough, with one great big heaving sigh the giant dinosaur pulled over the root, the middle aged dinosaurs inside exclaimed and the driver gave us a bashful look.

Next he needed to clear the gap between the parking area and the road. This was going to be a replay of what just happened, we all knew this. Sure enough- CREAK! GROAN! SIGH! BA-BUMP! And the RV was on the road, the middle aged dinosaurs inside exclaimed once again and as the giant dinosaur pulled away we could see a little girl, a baby dinosaur, in the back window, looking out, at us maybe, wondering when she was going to leave that place.

I used to be like that little girl. I would go on vacations with my family and see other people- people who looked like Violet and I did- young, happy, healthy, independent, free of the heavy trappings of modern families- and wonder how I could be like them.

We would go on vacations, my family and I, and after a while I began to wonder why the hell we went away on vacation when we could have just lived there. I did that later, dropped out of school and moved to Vermont, where we used to go on vacation. Made a life out of vacation. It’s been pretty sweet ever since.

We said a prayer for the little dinosaur inside, that evolution might be kind to her and grant her wings that she might fly the coop before it was too late.

When we felt fully revived we made our way down to the hot springs alongside the river. They were much needed after a long day of climbing along rock further downstream, sitting on one giant rock for a long time, in the gorgeousness of the springtime desert sun and the lushness of the deep river canyon. Talking about relationships- our relationship with each other and with ourselves. Healthy, inspiring, divine.

Later the moon rose and, with our friends Sonya and Noah who happened to also be there soaking in the hot springs, we watched it alight the nighttime sky with it’s silver white shine.

The Artwork of Michael Divine

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