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Southwestern Days, Hacienda Nights

These days. I’be been thinking of the West - a lot. More precisely, of the Southwest. Four corners area. Of when I lived in New Mexico and how it was a wonder to me from the start. Remains that way still today. Not once was it ever like the Westerns my Daddy slept to more than watched. His declaration - I was watching that - always a heated second after we turned it off. The real place was much more than movies could illustrate. I knew this the moment I crossed into Tucumcari, started driving north to the high desert country, crossing mass expanses where I felt for the first time in all my travels that I was on a planet in this Universe, not just my neighborhood or neck of the woods but this mass of rock, of creation, traveling through the mystery that is space. And time, it turns differently out there, I swear it does. You can feel it in your bones. There, time itself takes up space like a character of its own being. The light itself its own sweet thing. Ethereal. Touchable, holds some kind of essence. And the stars! A mutitude layed across a multitude. Glory, glory, they are clear cut diamonds in the sky. And cast over all of it is an enchantment like some precious thing tucked away, almost hidden from the world. Years ago I spent the evening alone in an old hacienda. A low fire burning in the tiny kiva where I sat writing at the ancient kitchen table and if I did not believe in ghosts, I believed in the residue of lives lived, and of stories told. And that night I felt surrounded by a great company of people, and in that space I could almost hear their voices, this long thread of from - then - to now. And all the men, women, children that entailed. The way we are connected in some wild, eternal story yet unfolding. Us living out our parts that are intertwined beyond our knowledge or perception. Like those lasting impressions of other lives still reverberating, I am certain that our own, the energy of all we are, of our having lived, will echo long after we are gone, remain and carry on.

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