A friend, when taken for a stroll around the petroglyphs, asked many questions on the geology of the area. In explaining the concept of reverse topography, it was important to explain the area has been intermittently wetter and drier. When asked if it would be wetter soon, I shared we’re in a period of extended drought conditions, and independent of industrialization, our continent has become warmer and drier since the end of the Pleistocene. This is what makes the desert varnish possible and thus the petroglyphs for the national monument.

Her reply:

“Oh. So it’s only going to get worse.”

I adore the desert southwest. Silly easterners and the insistance the globe be universally lush and green.

Likewise, how silly I feel when once I believed that because after my first (mental wellness) crisis hospitalization, each crisis and hospitalization to follow signified things are “getting worse.” As plain as plain can be, as plain as the Cracker Barrel menu, as plain as plain as I can be, the misbelief that my recovery journey used the metric “I’m cure and if not my life is a suckfest failure” is just plain silly. And ignorant.

The ongoing management of my symptoms is not a signafier my life is getting worse. My life is changing.

The desert holds mystery and beauty. I hold my breath. Exactly the same.