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Ode to Terlingua

I didn’t always love myself.

It’s not enough to simply show up. It takes purpose to shed the paradigms that others place upon us and I find that purpose in my writing – in your song. Your art.

It is something that has drifted from my heart and then drifted back in again.

But I have found a place where you can be yourself. Unencumbered by city lights, concrete streets, and fashionistas. Where the coyote sits high along the ridge surveying his domain, and the lion crosses in the dark - almost never seen. A place where tumbleweeds play on the highway because, well… they ain’t scared.

And I race down that highway, headlights against the setting sun, just to be THERE for a moment. To sink into THERE for an evening. And I hold tight as if it might walk away at any second. Because you see, my truth has been a mistruth all along.

But here even the bears have found their way, trekking through the desert of Mexico. And she has her secrets - this desert, hidden under layers of sand and rock. Thorns and brush. You cannot ask what her story is, you can only listen quietly and maybe… if you’re lucky… she will tell you. And if she tells you, you will be lost in it forever as I am.

I am drunk on the rain of the stars, high on the light of the moon, and full from the hardship of it all. Come with me or don’t, either is ok but do not smother me with your fear, your uncertainty, and your emptiness - for alone in the dark and in the smell of burning wood it is only me that I answer to.

And I sleep now, surrounded by the things I’ve made. Things of this place: a chiseled rock, a shaggy burro, a vase the color of the Aegean. A creek flowing through boulders. A shotgun, a lasso, a Mexican urn. A photo of my son - and books of course, for what would I be without books? I sleep smiling. I sleep safe.

Now – about those calloused and dirty hands, sturdy and durable - like you can handle things. Because you can. And don’t they feel good like that?


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