WE TOOK A SPLENDID LITTLE ROAD TRIP up to southern Colorado. It was a glorious, beautiful day with visibility clear to sharp horizons. I wanted to stop every quarter mile and take more cloud shots. Just before crossing the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, we saw a tight clump of half a dozen bighorn rams, and then there were the llamas, every now and then a raven or a hawk. I wanted to claim the nearest ridge and build a hut of lava rocks.
Lunch was out here where I took the picture. Afterwards I stood beside the car to take a whiz. Immediately out of nowhere came a swarm of small brown biting flies that crept up to the puddle before I’d even finished. An uplifting moment. Standing in the wind, flipping the last drops of sustenance to needy insects in the sun beside a dead volcano, I felt plugged into the universe.
We each have our own little path through the world, a wise friend told me once. This in the context of him shitting his pants under a North Vietnamese artillery bombardment and later walking away from a fancy job in Houston when his supervisor wouldn’t let him leave the building to see the first real snow in 20 years. I wonder where his hat hangs now or if he needs one.
What is it, what’s the one thing left on your exam, the vision that you never trusted but you can’t forget? For me it’s being free of fear. None of this was ever meant to be so heavy, all the bags are packed. Fear is what keeps me from the work. The work leads to the open door.
Originally published 8-4-2019 here, of course.