5.25.2008

Looking forward to your reply

Dear reader of these you-me-go! words:

I want to know what you like. Please respond in the comments with the most beautiful place that you've ever been. Maybe it's a corner in your house. Perhaps it's a shoreline on the eastern coast of England. Wherever it may be, take us there with your words.

Thank you.
Sincerely,
MJ

42 comments:

cdanderson said...

Lake Jordan in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota. I've visited Israel, Scotland, Switzerland, and Colorado, but I have never seen stars so brilliant. The lake was pristine and isolated, bordered by an unbroken line of perfect pines. Several friends and I stared at the stars, and their reflections on the glassy lake for hours, marveling at how distinct and radiant these suns of the night were. Wispy clouds of celestial gases sparked thoughts of distant galaxies and universes spinning and whirling through space. This night sky captured the imagination and calmed the soul. I've never seen a sky so alive and peaceful.

hewhocutsdown said...

The fortresses carved out of the rock hills west of Muscat, in Oman. There are no signs as you approach, no tourist information booth, no gift shop...the rooms are sparsely furnished, the sides of the staircase rough and uncut, contrasting with the clean carvings of the stairs themselves.

If I could call any desert beautiful, it would be the rugged terrain of Oman.

like.a.cannon said...

This is going to sound really stupid, but recently i was flying home into Sacramento and as we made our approach i saw how beautiful the city was and how much i loved it. I don't know if that was the most beautiful place i have ever seen, but it really captured my heart when i saw it.

that or the moons of Jupiter. they are wonderful too.

Stretts said...

Flying to Japan, above the clouds i opened my seats window cover and the sun was setting with a beautiful purple, blue and yellow lining the horizon of clouds.

Was pretty amazing

Anonymous said...

Laying down to sleep on my side of the bed. Smelling my wife on the pillow case. The only thing better, is waking up and sharing a cup of good coffee with her on the porch.

David Anderson

Michelle said...

Watching a sunset on the edge of private (cow-inhabited) property in Swansea, Wales. We'd just hiked through some surprisingly rugged woods on the edge of our dorm-room accommodations; and our rears had just discovered the meaning of "stinging myrtle." Regardless, the range of colors from burning red to hot pink to deep, dusky purple was absolutely perfect. And the company definitely didn't hurt either.

Heather said...

Assisi is a small town in Italy, known only to most because it was the home of St. Francis. What most people don't know about Assisi is that it is one of the most beautiful spots in the world, and it's certainly the most beautiful place I've been to. The city was founded in the 1200s, and both the architecture and overall feel of the town reflects its age. Each building in the town is made of beautiful sandstones in earthy brown, pink, and yellow tones. The city is on the side of a mountain, and it overlooks the beautiful Italian countryside. The streets are mostly cobblestone, and they wind precariously up the mountain, the alleys looking like something you see in a picture book but never expect to see in real life. Try as I might, there aren't words for the way the sun's last rays gleamed off the beautiful sandstone, but it was an extraordinary sight. None of the colors in the architecture are dark, and the sun only intensified the brightness. The combination of the sunlight, stone arches, and mountainside location made everything seem light and floaty--it was like being in a dream! The sun set as I walked down the steps of the monastery that belonged to St. Francis's order, giving way to an early full moon that peeked through the surrounding mountains. I only spent a few hours in the town, but it was breathtaking--I'll never forget it. :)

Anonymous said...

I almost fell asleep next to my friend in the street once, until a car came and we had to move. that was pretty beautiful.

...its not you, its your narrative said...

Tectitan in Guatemala. We woke up at 3 in the morning to leave Guatemala City, hopped on a wildly painted school bus for 3 dollars - 4 to a seat, along with chickens - and rode 14 hours up winding mountains... finally arriving above the clouds in a city inhabited by under 100 people. I'd never been muted by a natural wonder until I saw clouds below me sliced and reshaped by mountain peeks.

Shannon said...

Waking up with the covers all over the place and the love of my life still asleep, having some sort of dream about soccer. He always kicks the covers off.
And second place would have to be his red tracker. Nothing bad has ever come from that car and we always go to the most wonderful places.

miss m said...

this random cliff in on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. I was twelve at the time and, even though it was my first big trip anywhere, it pretty much sucked. lots of fighting with my sister and stopping to look at stone walls. i'm pretty sure we had stopped to look at another ruin, but I went across the street and just climbed this hug hill that led to a spectacular view of the ocean and behind me, sheep grazing in all the gorgeous green (Ireland really has the most spectacular shades of green I've ever witnessed). Just being up there made Dingle my favorite part of Ireland. It was nice to be alone, if only for a few minutes until my grand mother called me back down.

william said...

sitting in the back of an empty and old city bus, filled with horizontal light and with cracked seat covers, above and along the road swaying in the diesel air, humid and hot, and the window is open

Annie said...

either Astoria OR on a misty summer Sunday or this beautiful old neighbor hood I accidentily went to off the freeway near Pasadena. It had these never seen before bright purple bloom trees every where. (despite being next to the freeway it would be an awesome place to live!

Anonymous said...

Annie - That is old town Pasadena, right off of the 210 freeway. It is a beautiful little nook in a very crowded city. The trees you are talking about are called jacaranda.

David Anderson

Anonymous said...

My favorite place to visit has got to be Mozambique.
It's always fascinating to me that as you cross the border from South Africa you can immediately notice the change in architectural style- Moz showing off it's Portuguese colonial history, with detailed tiling and archways. At almost the same instant you notice the pock marks in the buildings- Gunshots and RPG's: a frightening testament to the civil war ended not that long ago.
Pressing north on the pot-holed roads you see the populace get “wealthier”, by this I mean that the scarred, windowless buildings in all their peeling-painted glory, have tens of satellite dishes cobbled onto their sides and roofs!
Maputo is brilliant- literally; the advertising is painted on the sides of buildings and on walls in the brightest primary colors.
The thing that chokes me up every time I visit, and in fact just sitting here thinking about it, is the drive north, up the coast, towards Zimbabwe. The people that live here are some of the poorest in the world, and a lot of what you see outside of the city is subsistence farms- families growing just enough pineapples and corn to feed their offspring and siblings. (There are a frightening number of orphans in this part of the world- due to AIDS and Malaria.) On these tiny patches of land, and in the streets everyone smiles. The children grin at your passing car- their white teeth a sharp contrast to their dark skin.
There is very little to buy, trinkets, seafood and fruit being pretty much all tourists will find to spend cash on, but every holiday seems so full. No shopping malls, no lines to get into attractions (ha-ha, unless you count the border crossing which took us a whole day one visit) but the time flies. The people have a great no-problem attitude; the beaches are amazing, the water bath-temperature hot some months of the year, and crystal clear pretty much everywhere. The soft drinks come in bottles recycled so many times that you identify your drink by color, not label!
It’s not “beautiful” in the conventional sense, and the photographs I have tried to take barely capture what I’m trying to describe, but I have loved this place from my first visit, and don’t know anyone that has been there and didn’t fall in love.
While the country is making headlines for its record economic growth it’s cool that I can still go there and find people with as close to nothing as you’ll ever see, happy.
Oh, and the local beer, 2M, is the greatest thing you’ll ever taste!

aaron said...

Victoria Falls in Zambia. There are perpetual rainbows, some that almost make a complete circle. You can see three or four at a time. I just can describe how incredible it was.

Grzesik said...

Whistler/Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada. My father and I went for a week there and on the last day we were there we headed out to a new part of the mountain and found we were surrounded by beautiful white sweeping slopes like pillows laid across the surface of the earth. And then as we looked up all we could see for miles and miles was peak after peak after peak as far as the eye could see. It still blows my mind to think about.

ryan said...

Returning home to Youngstown, Ohio and seeing the hurt, abandonment, and brokenness of a once booming city now, deserted and in ruins. There was some kind of beauty and hope in the pain of that experience.

julia gulia said...

it's hard to pick but for natural beauty i think it might be this Zapato Falls in Colorado that's out in the middle of nowhere (near the Sand Dunes). In able to get to it you have to walk about 2 miles on this trail and then wade through the river into this open cave where the fall is just crashing against every rock inside. it was amazing.

the place that I've been the most happy to be has got to be Venice though. I was there for my 22nd birthday and the rain was pouring down but inside they made us this huge family style meal and then turned off all the lights and 60 strangers sang happy birthday to me as the brought out candles on top of some tiramisu.

Scoot said...

Near my home there is a small, old pasture bordered with a thin line of trees. Every year, during the end of June or so, when the air is really beginning to get warm, thousands of fireflies light up the air inside those trees throughout the night. I would walk through them to the center of the field and let them fill the air around me, staying there most of the night. It's an entirely separate world.

...its not you, its your narrative said...

This has turned into the most beautiful collection of responses... you people are stunning me!

Kristin B said...

The Sněžka summit on the Czech/Polish border. When I was 15, I did a night hike up there with about 30 other people. We left at 10pm, and hiked all night to get there to watch the sunrise. We arrived about 30 minutes before sunrise, and peered through the clouds at the villages in the valleys below us. That sunrise was the most spectacular thing I've ever seen - the sun reflecting off the clouds, the light flooding the sky - spectacular.

Karlee said...

In Piedras Negras (or near it), Mexico there is an old, abandoned, torn down mission. Watching the sun go down there and singing songs with other people, even on one of the saddest nights of my life (so far) is the most beautiful thing I have ever encountered.

Nearby, taking pictures with an old best friend, watching the sunset with someone special, laying under the stars, or just being in my grandma's backyard are some of my favorite things.

Rachel said...

the view from the top of upper yosemite falls is probably quite like you'd imagine encountering at the top of any frequently traversed mountain.

most people physically fit enough and willing to climb the steep trail are also wise enough to start early enough in the day so that they won't be fumbling around rocky ledges and slippery boulders (with the black bear denizens) in the blackness of a national park sky. i was neither at the top of my game physically nor extremely jubilated to be taking this hike, and stalled so often on the way up that the sun set on the wintery yosemite valley just as i reached apex.

this was the beautiful part. yosemite valley became a small nighttime snowglobe of sorts, with shining light poles and brightly lit cabins and bustling wooden lodges a few thousand feet below the rush of icy waterfalls and wind-whirled evergreens. take this scene and shake, shake, shake.

BW said...

The one I can recall is flying through the sunset this past New Year's Eve... everything above the clouds was purple and orange, a view not out of the ordinary for pilots (I would imagine).

But it was out of the ordinary for me and fairly indescribable, the sense that the year had seen it's last sunlight. The idea that - while routine now - hardly anyone (in the historical sense) had ever seen something like it.

It made me feel like things were going to be alright. I don't know why those thoughts collided with that feeling... but it did and I watched the sky until it turned dark. The best "window seat" I'll ever have.

Conrad said...

I come from a small mid-west town without a lot of people or beautiful scenery. I dont get to travel often, so I dont many chances to see picturesque views. But, being from a small town, the one thing that always gets me is seeing mass amounts of people just being people. The one view that comes to mind is any day after lecture, I have to walk down Bascom Hill on the UW - Madison campus, which when the weather is nice, is packed with students just lying around, talking, studying, playing sports, and so on. Just being at the top of that immensely crowded hill, generally in late afternoon when the sun is starting to set over the busy city, its rays falling on the capital building in the distance or the broken clock tower at the bottom of the hill, I feel a mix of emotions. I dont know why but it makes me feel completely alone and saddened to be in large crowds but somehow inspired and like I belong in the overall workings and relations of the world.

I'm leaving to travel around europe for the summer in a few days, so we'll see what else I can find out there. Good luck with the record and everything, I'll miss reading the blog while I'm gone.

Anonymous said...

The most beautiful place I've ever been is at my computer in the future looking at the announcement of the release date of Canopy Glow.

Anonymous said...

Anathallo Camp Volume:1

The most loving, amazing, caring, genuine people I've ever met.

~Original Kevin

randybruder said...

A sand dune on the coast of Peru, waiting for a flat tire to be replaced.

Anonymous said...

Bloomington, Indiana

Anonymous said...

I love to write just for fun. But the only time writing is ever of any use to me is either when I'm writing an essay, in which I must suppress my creativity, or writing a story, which I cannot do because I can't think of anything good. So here is my chance to write freely. Here goes:

It was late spring, and I was sitting in the white rocking chair in my backyard. The gentle movement back and forth cast its spell on me while I watched the sun set over the western horizon. Off in the distance a swarm of mosquitoes flew in circles around nothing at all. The scent of the flowers and mowed grass and the sound of a creek trickling, winding in the distance. The birds sang the weary lullabies of a day reaching its end. They were crossing through the trees whose branches swayed in the breeze that brought waves of summer air through my yard. The sun was falling over the horizon, bringing the day to a close like curtains in a theater, with pinks, purples, yellows, and reds painting the sky and the clouds as far as the eye could see. And now the birds were silent and the branches of the oak trees were still. The warm air fell like a blanket over me, weighing heavily on my eyes. I was in a trance. And in that moment between consciousness and unconsciousness I thought to myself, “This is the most beautiful place I have ever been.”

Anonymous said...

every time I journey forth I find these places and think...this is the most beautiful place in the world....a rain forest in Oregon...an island in the bahamas...the outer banks...the gulf coast...the grand canyon...hoover dam...a tiny fishing port in Englehard, N.C. and I thought these people are so lucky to live here....and then I drive through Vanns Valley on the way home to Cave Spring, Ga. and I think....it just doesn't get much better than this....it's all good...mlbncsga

sean o'kane said...

i thought this would be hard to choose, but julia's response jogged my memory.

snowball fight at 11pm while walking through the squares in Venice. as if the place isn't beautiful enough on its own, snow just makes it seem unreal

K.E.N. said...

i'm not good at picking favorites, so here's a few.
before crossing the Columbia to get to Vancouver on I-5 there's a smaller bridge, you look over and you see Mt Hood with water boats leading up to it. also, driving into portland on I-5 and it's night and the city is lit up and you see the Made in Oregon sign with the deer...my heart fills with contentment.
the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland are freakin' amazing, as is the view on top of the hill on the Dingle Peninsula. Scotland wasn't bad either.

p.s. i'm sad i have to miss your show when you're in portland next. my friend is graduating that day with her masters. but i've seen y'all many times and know that you'll be back. right??

Angela said...

Flying over the Adarondica, all green and no sign of civilization.

Lauralee said...

When I went to Russia in May we took an overnight train from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. Waking up in the morning before we arrived to Saint Petersburg, we were able to watch the sunrise in the country. Russia is really green, but the country was absolutely breathtaking.

Alec K said...

mt zion national park in utah. spending 2 days shoeless and a little sunburned with 6 of my best friends and roommates (er, vanmates/tourmates i suppose) hiking, reading, and trying to fashion a tadpole trap out of sticks and leaves for no other reason than to catch a few in the collected rainwater ponds so that we could let them go again.

AdamBomb said...

Two natural wonders:

The Napali Coastline on the Hawaiian island of Kauai... Great hiking there and beautiful vistas -- sheer, lush cliffs that cut right into the ocean. And you can swim at the base of 200-foot waterfalls, among other things. Definitely worth seeing.

Also:

Johnston Canyon at Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. They built a bridge/walkway onto the face of a canyon there, and it affords some of the most beautiful views I've seen. But it's all frozen over during the winter, so catch it during the summer months.

Joel said...

It was when I was still on tour with you guys, and we stopped at Valley of the Rouge state park in Southern Oregon for the night on the way to a show in California. We all fell asleep under the stars with very tall trees surrounding us. When we woke up, I felt peaceful. Peaceful in a time of turmoil in my life.

Lucas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucas said...

i was working at a summer camp last year. one little guy had bumped his head earlier in the morning and wasn't feeling up for anything too exciting, so while everyone else went off to the morning activities, the two of us went down to the waterfront to build sand castles.

i consider it the best moment of my life. i felt an unearthly sense of calm. i felt like what "gentle" and "soft" would be if they were emotions instead of adjectives. i was sitting on a dock watching an eight-year-old build a village in sand, and i had no other want in the world.

i don't mean to downplay what other people find beautiful, i mean i dig sunsets and quaint houses too, but i feel like beauty is less about places and more about what happens in those places.

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