I recently came across an excellent essay “A Desert Beyond Fear” by author Jana Richmond on the NYT Opinionator blog. There you’ll find an edited version of a post from her own blog which talks about how anxiety challenges her creative life and sense of well-being. Jana is a powerful writer and her piece is full of insight into the tortured landscape we call anxiety.
|Mikki Sommer for the NYT
Some level of anxiety is a great motivator, of course. And it’s certainly moved me to face challenges that I might otherwise have sidestepped. But I also know it can channel your vision of the world and its’ possibilities onto a twisted, rocky terrain. And send you stumbling down the path to its’ dark cousin, depression.
But as she writes in her essay, Jana has found some degree of solace and perspective in the stark vistas of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, which she now calls her back yard.
Drawn by the desert’s healing power, Jana and her husband left the city to change their lives, trading a bi-weekly paycheck “for joy in the form of writing time.” They moved to Escalante, a town that borders views like the one in this photograph I found on her blog.
I highly recommend her essay, it’s eloquent, insightful and it will make you smile. Here’s a link to the original “A Desert Beyond Fear.”