In 2004, 5 of us went camping in the middle of the desert in San Luis Potosi, far away from any town or road. We arranged to be dropped somewhere...no one really knew where we were going...through dirt road and putting down fences, which seemed to be the boundaries between no man's land, then we walked a few kilometers into the direction where we were told we would find an oasis. We would be picked up, at a second fence we were to find, in 4 days. Needless to say, it was all unplanned, somehow we ended up camping near the small oasis, with 2 peyotes per head, very little water and food... in fact by the last day we had ran out of both. Silence and stillness were of such intensity that we could hear each other talk from miles apart, while each one wondered through giant cactus and rattle snakes.
The only documentation of this experience, besides our memory and the effect it had within ourselves, are a couple of blurry thumbnails and a Paul Shepard quote I had found and kept next to them.
"The desert is the environment of revelation, genetically and physiologically alien, sensorily austere, esthetically abstract, historically inimical. ... Its forms are bold and suggestive. The mind is beset by light and space, the kinesthetic novelty of the aridity, high temperature, and wind. The desert sky is encircling, majestic, terrible. In other habitats, the rim of sky above the horizontal is broken or obscured; here, together with the overhead portion, it is infinitely vaster than that of rolling countryside and forest lands. ... In an unobstructed sky the clouds seem more massive, sometimes grandly reflecting the earth’s curvature on their concave undersides. The angularity of desert landforms imparts a monumental architecture to the clouds as well as to the land. ...
To the desert go prophets and hermits; through deserts go pilgrims and exiles. Here the leaders of the great religions have sought the therapeutic and spiritual values of retreat, not to escape but to find reality."
[Paul Shepard, ‘Man in the Landscape: A Historic View of the Esthetics of Nature’]