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How to Enjoy a Colorful Sunset in the Desert

 Some people think I am being facetious with a title like that. They wonder, 'Since when do you need some tricks to enjoy looking at something that is breathtakingly beautiful?"

But the person saying that is unlikely to be a long-term traveler.

And what do they mean by "beautiful" anyway? They mean it's redder than usual. By that reasoning you could take a photo of a mediocre sunset, stick it into photo-editing software, and blast the shit out of it with fake redness.

What good would that do for a long-termer? But we still want to enjoy a fine sunset.

I have found something that helps me. There is something about listening to a song sung by Jimmy Buffet (album = Beach House on the Moon). I can't give you a link on You Tube but there is a version of it done by the song's writer.

Sunset is an angel weeping

Holding out a bloody sword

No matter how I squint I cannot Make out

what it's pointing toward.

Sometimes you feel like you've lived too long

Days drip slowly on the page

You catch yourself

Pacing the cage...

The impact of a sunset does not come from how red it is. It comes from combining a fine visual image with something else, be it the right piece of music or a powerful personal memory, especially one involving danger or suffering -- or at least, uncertainty.

It is thinking of what to combine the sunset with, that really matters. You feel a little thrill when you get it right. Otherwise it is just another photo cliche'. 

But honestly, wouldn't the song be better if the second line said "holding forth a bloody sword!" 

And I take purdy pichers of sunsets, too! Even if they aren't red.