A few weeks ago I was in Mexico, enjoying a short trip the way we can, from Colorado. Sitting on the porch, overlooking the ocean, my boyfriend says “Not something you see in Colorado.” I say “The ocean?” because there are a few things we don’t see every day, but “ocean” seems the most obvious. He says “The horizon.”
But is that it? Because Colorado has a horizon or two. Our relationship to it is just so different, it seems like this ocean version is a whole other animal. That’s why San Jose Del Cabo reminds me a (very little) bit of where I grew up. Rhode Island. Water horizon is very different than Rockies horizon, dessert horizon, hilly forested New Hampshire horizon. My friend Colby once described her feeling driving around northern New England like this “everything is so… down-in.” Hands over her head for emphasis. I felt the opposite the first time I came out west on a skiing trip to Park City in college. That humungous Utah sky was like the space of the ocean, infinity was just running rampant everywhere.
The ocean horizon is so directional like there is an arrow pointing away from land out to the deep space of the ocean horizon. I’m on land and all that vastness and all that future and possibility lies before me.
The dessert horizon feels unmoored to me. Little me in all this vastness. Lonely.
The mountain horizon makes me feel like a god. Here I am, on top of this world, seeing it all.
I wonder what a horizon does to a culture. Does it spark the same sentiment in a whole community? A LOT of what I do as an architect in the mountains is about views. This has to be about our horizon – our relationship to that space and our unquenchable desire to always have access to the great feeling it gives us. Like a drug.