A FATHER AND ROAD MUSIC
Day 60 Saddle Back Mesa to Ima road
today:26 miles cumulative: 1168
Not like it was last night. Not so white. No mystery. Just dirty white gravel instead of celestial highway. No coyotes. Plenty of New Mexico wind. And just before another big hill I see my father standing on the side of the road. What? He went out to check on the roads that I would walk and just kept going, had to escape the piles and piles and piles. Everyone has piles. Some keep them very neat, so they look very official, but they are still just piles, and they are crap, and we should all run away from them. I feel myself being sucked back into them even from here, even from this New Mexico desert gravel road. The piles that I shoved in boxes wait for me in Santa Fe and in the glove box of my car, I even have a few in the back of my dog cart. But I was talking about my dad, no need to put the piles on him.
He is shooting photos, like a proud father at a Track meet. This is my version of holding up the trophy, state champion, new school record, or something like that, a strange new sport, suffer fest, the game called "go insane." My father and I have not lived together since I was 3 and so there has never been a relationship like father/son, just a friend, but because of this walk, and because I live closer to him now, we communicate more in a week than we used to in a year. For the first time in my life he is my father again. So proud father snaps away and tells me about the roads I will walk and how many miles to this and that corner and when the weather will hit me and says see you in a week.
Up a big white gravel highway hill steep as any but now my legs are so strong I dont mind the hills, I pull the flaming chariot my self to let Cosmo rest from this hot day. Stop to talk to farmers and get water before this last bit of wind in my face.
When I make that corner it will not be in my face. The angle of the sun makes everything sharp, do not focus on the wind or how many more miles, focus on the angle of the sun and look for the things that it brings out like patterns in grass, shadows of stones. Stopping to get water I notice that the gravel on this road is made of many kinds of stone, crystals and red rocks and black that looks like broken obsidian orange and blue, round river stones, where does this highway rock come from?
Caught in the music of this road pulling my face closer because there is so much to see here. Eyes like an electron microscope coating the particles of dust with silver to see the billions and billions of universes down between these crystals covered with crystals and the reflections of those on shiny black rocks, I never would have know about all of these worlds. Infinite crystals like infinite suns, up there down here, out there in here, deep space deep sea, and now I see it on a farm road that I would have driven over at 90 miles per hour. I am a giant walking over worlds, and there are giants above me walking over my world. What is the biggest number we know? our symbols cannot take the weight of reality cannot say how deep and how far and the number of forever. Gypsy laying face down exploring the gravel road. Its about time, I've been on it for 60 days and have not seen it.
Make the corner and wind at my back at least. Look for a place to sleep then a pickup stops to hand me food. Mr. Sparks from a farm down the road, his mother has been worrying about me. Tells me where to camp, and that I'd better have some shelter tomorrow night, storm front comin' in cold and mean, big winds. Tonight it is not cold or mean, a good night to cook, but I am getting sick and my head hurts. Hurts too much to write. I am so far behind and again I am jealous of Cosmo for sleeping, and for having no piles and piles, nothing on her mind, never behind, just here. Fall asleep waiting for my food to cook and I wake up afraid. Where am I? My head hurts in this empty windswept cow pasture far from anywhere.