I remember with an aching fondness the times I was driving and I’d find myself in the midst of an experience that was terrifyingly powerful and yet so simple. in the desert, at dusk in the middle of no where, in the shadow of cathedral-like mountains… I feel very privileged to have had such moments of bare truth.
I remember driving through New Mexico after I left LA, I was driving East which was strange because West had always been my guide. I didn’t think that much would happen - I was trying to get to my parents relatively quickly. and yet between Austin and New Orleans so much happened, things that I think will affect me for a long time.
but in New Mexico I had no idea what was waiting for me and the desert was wide and brutal but honest, and I was listening to the Liebestod sung by Birgit Nilsson, my favorite piece of music (most of the time I cry when I hear it because it’s just so damn beautiful). New Mexico was an awesome moment, using the word awesome properly for once in my life. awesome because when I went to LA I didn’t know if I’d ever sleep in the truck again, I didn’t know if this great adventure was over and suddenly it hit me that it wasn’t. I was so grateful. awesome because there was so much ahead of me that I had no detailed concept of but I could feel it.
I’m now learning that you don’t have to drive off into the mountains or across the plains to feel such truth (although it helps), you just have to be brave enough to keep open to it, which takes extreme bravery if you ask me. and it’s hard, a simultaneous process of constantly pulling your heart open and yet being content with what happens, even when it’s hard. even when it’s hard.
After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…