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Return to Book Page. Blood in the Desert by C Douglas Gordon. A Christian slave girl. Their child. What could go wrong? Life is raw and cruel for the followers of Yesua in AD. A relentless Roman Empire devoted to torturing and killing Christians leaves young Miriam enslaved to the ruthless army officer Quintus after the brutal murder of her martyred parents. As she grows into womanhood in his household, she endures the shame of bearing his child, a heartache that becomes unbearable when the baby, Philip, is born blind.
In a fit of rage, Quintus drives mother and child apart and casts them on separate paths. As they each drift aimlessly to their fate, the mysterious wolf Lupa appears to lead Miriam, while young Philip is taken in by nomadic traders. Follow the riveting tale of their dramatic journey through the treacherous devotions of early Christendom in the days before the Emperor Constantine finds a powerful ally in Yesua and changes the course of history.
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Blood on the Desert
Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U. Lawrence arrived in New Mexico, settling itinerantly on a ranch near Taos. The premier sensualist of his age, he was entranced by the severe landscape, so unlike the bleak coal country of his youth. In , he published a book-length reverie on his experiences in the American Southwest titled Mornings in Mexico.
His own evening was approaching by then: Lawrence, long in ill health, died in He is buried in Taos, and the ranch where Lawrence lived now bears his name. Recently, it opened to visitors again. In one section of Mornings in Mexico, Lawrence describes a Hopi "snake dance," in which men insert serpents into their mouths.
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Some inward fate drove him to the top of these parched mesas, all rocks and eagles, sand and snakes, and wind and sun and alkali. These he had to conquer. Not merely, as we should put it, the natural conditions of the place. But the mysterious life-spirit that reigned there.
The eagle and the snake. Reverence for the desert is a longstanding American tradition. But so is contempt for those vast, useless expanses of scrub and sand in a nation intent on squeezing profit from every square foot of land. Often, the desert is nothing more than an impediment, something to tame and conquer, to turn into not-desert.
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Two years ago, California celebrated the centennial of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a triumph of will and ingenuity that carries water from the eastern Sierras through the dessicated Mojave to a city that could not otherwise have tap water, never mind brunch bellinis. Meanwhile, "exurbs" are exploding around cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas, pushing back on the ancient reign of chaparral, settling the most unsettling of lands.
A recent slew of nonfiction books highlights another feature of the desert: as a repository for society's exiles and castaways, some lost and others searching, all unwilling to put up with the 9-to-5 grind to which most of us have simply surrendered. This other breed yearns to find something extraordinary in the silent, severe serenity of the desert, something a day hike in Yosemite won't quite yield: escape, salvation or maybe only a respite from the voices in their heads.
Her subject is the Antelope Valley, separated from Los Angeles by the San Gabriel Mountains, not to mention mountains of wealth that have made one place a global city and the other a desiccated landscape of outcasts. The Antelope Valley had once been the site of Llano, a socialist utopia that thrived briefly in the early 20th century before moving to Louisiana.
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Today, all that's left of Llano is a couple of stone foundations along state Route , which has the poetic name Pearblossom Highway, but which Stillman calls the Tweaker Highway. One of the Antelope Valley's main cities, Lake Los Angeles, is "a siphon for fuckups, violent felons, meth chefs and paroled gangbangers who live in government-subsidized housing.
Among the local weirdos was Donald Charles Kueck, a resourceful hermit who liked to build rockets, do drugs and play out his survivalist fantasies, burrowing tunnels and firing off his machine gun.
On August 2, , Kueck shot and killed Stephen Sorensen, a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department who had arrived to investigate an unrelated incident with another hobo. There ensued a manhunt that lasted for several days and that turned, in Stillman's writing, this stretch of the Mojave Desert into a version of the Gaza Strip, replete with helicopters and armored cars—not to mention scores of law enforcement looking for a single man who, somehow, kept managing to evade them. It ended with Kueck's death. Shortly before he was killed, he ranted to his daughter on a recorded line.
Don't move out here.