Begin From the Begin
The Earth As Seen From Space
Day 55 Santa Fe to Ilfeld
today: 32 Cum:1032
Today begins a voyage into a new world, a world where I carry myself. Begin from the begin. She is sleeping and I am selfish to take that away from her, but she falls back asleep with me lying next to her, my arms around her, pressing close to touch as much of her as possible forming for one last time that perfect single cell that I dream of out there on the shoulder of the road. No gravity, no highway. My face rests at the back of her neck on a pillow of her hair. God, I love the smell of your hair. This is where I was the morning I left Santa Fe to walk across America. This is where I am the morning I leave Santa Fe to walk across America again. And again, myth of Sisyphus. Her hair. I can feel the blood pumping through her body, her heartbeat in her hand, in the back of her head against my cheek. This is all I needed, now I can say goodbye. But there are no words to tell her how much beauty she brought into my life, and I stumble when I try to say it. The last kiss. A cell divides to become two separate lives. The sun sets at 10:30 in the morning. And I walk out of town.
This is the hardest part. My mind and body have found comfort again in this sea of beautiful faces. No wind, no blisters, no cold fingers trying to set up a tent and just wanting someone to talk to. This is the road to my home, a drive I have made hundreds of times. The frontage roads are quiet, my head is still in town. At the cowgirl drinking tecate with a lime, Sharron plays mandolin, the owner of the local coffee shop walks in, hey Steve, wrestlers and circus freaks and tattoo artists sit together in the back room, local sage hands stand by the fireplace, Krysty the bartender shows off her tattoos, and the one we call the groover does her groove thing at the front. This is a fun loop to play in my head, but I am not at the Cowgirl, that is not my movie right now. Be here now. I am walking.
I do have to admit it is a good day for walking, the cold over-cast days from earlier this week are gone, and there is no wind. A rare window. Make a run for it, before you get pulled back by beers and barstools, pretty faces. Before you get pushed back by New Mexico wind. Winged feet mercury. Shazzzam. The day flies by in these juniper hills, pinion, view of the valley. Someone told me this whole mountain is a crystal, maybe mine the mountain to reveal huge geometric mass, maybe harness the sun, perfect pagoda. No, that would bring too many artists, leave it buried. Resting in the shade of huge wind shaped juniper, I have no cart today so the hills are easier and I can nap here, and I can go and go but still on the fuel of the past days. Tired erases Santa Fe.
Tired, barking packs of dogs. I now these dogs, they chase my van when I drive to town. Pocket full of rocks. Dry stacked stone buildings, and some wood leaning against wood that some call a house, Gary said to me the first time I saw this place that northern New Mexico is like a third world country and that is why he moved here. I will see Gary tonight, he is my neighbor. So walking through poverty and tin roof lean-to's, propped up falling down, barking dog, third world, 15 cars in the front yard, and no trespassing. Forget the dog beware of the owner. And I am so close.
The road home ends. Inside my house there are piles and piles, and I have to deal with them, but not until tomorrow. . Tonight I will take cheap beer left in my refrigerator to Gary's house and we will talk about the heavy things of the world, but also love and sculpture and keeping up and some lighter things too I'm sure.
Gary and I met in Mandalay, Burma on a photo shoot. We stayed in an obscene 5 star hotel like nothing either of us had ever seen, another planet, with its crystal pool room service papayas and mango cappuccino in the middle of the poor. Gary was always up earlier than everyone else, drinking coffee and reading the Singapore Times. And so we got to know each other on those mornings when everyone else on the crew was sleeping, and he became something like an uncle and he is one of the reasons I moved to Santa Fe, and he is still my uncle and my friend and I am lucky he lives so close.
Gary has already cooked the beans and rice for our dinner on tortillas with melted cheese, add some salsa, this is what we live on out here. And wash it down with that cheap beer, I like these meals, I miss these meals. Gary is having a hard winter, he' s thinking about becoming a surfer again. He is a sculptor but how do you follow your dreams without money and the stress of it eats you up and takes your energy and makes you want to sleep because sleep is easier than struggle. But first let us talk about love and lessons learned and beaches with waves and buying land in Mexico someday. There is an open container on the table by me beer, Gary's father's ashes. Gary is in a depression, not because of the ashes, because of nuclear proliferation. How can we even talk about devices that will wipe out the entire human race, let alone make them? He grabs the sides of his head. And this president drilling for more oil, and more weapons, and more troop buildup, and more empire building. "Following the script precisely. With all that information we have access to, all that perspective on history we are bound and determined to follow the old script." The great game all over again. "I love looking at photos of the earth from space because there are no lines drawn on it. No Uzbekistan, no Pakistan, no Afghanistan." No troops, no nuclear weapons, no evidence of people selling their souls.
Yes, there is much to be depressed about, but look to the individual, there the potential can be seen. In a sculpture that only a few will see that hanges on Gary's wall, a few more layers on a painting in my studio, these small acts of creation are all we can do to balance out he old games of self destruction. Gary-"I am in love with human potential, but in mass we always sink to the lowest common denominator." So we know that as a society we are pushed into that box, that lowest common denominator, it is easier to control the lowest common denominator, it is easier to build an empire with lowest common denominators because they don't fight and they don't struggle, and they don't ask questions.
"Far greater it is to dare mighty things, even though checked with failure, than it is to take rank with those poor souls who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat." Teddy Roosevelt. The lowest common denominator lives in that gray twilight. We must not be pulled into depression, into that gray, we will create sculptures to save the world. There are infinite reasons to be dressed, and infinite ways to get out. Gary will put his father's ashes in a garden to grow flowers.
I will deal with my piles, my nuclear proliferation, my quicksand and manic too much result of living five lives at once, tomorrow.