Seat 42c flight 192 BA Dallas to London
I had so much to say and had begun writing a few pages but lost it for some reason it hadn’t saved, one of the consequences of typing into a laptop.
The floorboards at Lori’s mountain hideaway had woken me this morning. Perhaps subconsciously I’d known I had to get up without out delay. It had felt strange to leave hummingbird without a goodbye and a thank you. I went across and patted her on the rear, “Thanks” i said “You’ve been fantastic, good luck where ever you go” We’d put her up on Craigs list last night apparently by the time i reached the UK there were people looking at her. You wont be sorry who ever you are, she’s a cracker
Lori dropped me at probably the only Adobe airport in the world, well its not really adobe, its built to look like Adobe. It would probably have blown away long ago with all the vibration from the planes long ago, and perhaps not, New Mexican ,mud is pretty hardy stuff.
We’d coasted on last time down along Artists road getting a last glimpse of the little city below, the trees now unfurling their green right across the canopy of Santa Fe. The sunlight already up and sparking, the volcanic peaks and domes away off in the distance leading the eye off south towards Albuquerque. Lori and I glancing at one another now and again, we were happy with what as taken root and sad too that time insisted that we both turn a new page
We took the 501 around the town, it would be quicker she’d said
We were first to arrive. A coffee and burrito there, it was an easy sleepy boarding and a step up, It’s a sleepy place, though security was pleasant but on it toes, my stuff was unzipped my tarot cards that I’d gaffa taped it seemed resembled something suspicious. I didn’t mind it was good to know they were vigilant.
Out the window from all the way up there the work the rivers and the arroyos were doing on the land was apparent. Veins across the skin of the earth apparent, it has always awed me.
$17.00 for two IPA’s at the Dallas airport. The waitress was an ass. She got a flea as a tip that was all to remember me by. Fairs fair
I am full of contradictions though and there is nothing new there.
There are only two films worth watching and I have seen them both The Martian and the Revenant on the way there so I tried the Woman in the Van, Maggie Smith but she got right on my nerves. Maybe she grew on you, but I wasn’t in the mood.
Lori and I have had such great time together, it has been quite a revelation for both of us. We like one another, we are friends, it seems we will be for quite some time, perhaps for all the time we have left in this life. It was easy to be there, she let me be, and so got all of any of goodness I have within me and I hers. It was allowed to flow. Me lightning and her slowly turning earth.
Jean too I had called from Dallas Fort Worth. We had loose ends to pick up. I spent a lot of time there at the beginning of this journey. The Journey was all ahead of me right then. Hard to realize it had already begun, there had been no forests or valleys to speak off, just the years of the rivers flow under the bridge to float down, find a sandy beach and pull in for the while I was there. I have always loved Jean, read friend into that and you have the picture of that river. I’d had to get the car right and miraculously Hummingbird had been the right car from the off. I’d said we wasted a few days looking at piles of junk. Though at least we got to hang out together a road rip of sorts, out and about driving. Little Kai in the back seat kicking his feet a quiet witness, I remember Jeans reaching out California style. I was always charmed by it and her.
Life has landed into jeans world, it is what she had chosen. But it has also brought other things unexpected, Micheal her partner, the man who had thrown her a rope, had cancer, he is a strong guy, Jean is throwing a rope back, he will be ok, I am sure of it, and when they step onto that leveled field, Jean will speak, he will listen and be charmed and they will do the dishes together, uncomplaining. happy with the qualities that those times together grow.
Kai is growing, he has his demands, jean has her job at the school and all the things in-between, the glue and all that she had presumed has been tested. But it is settling. It is not perhaps what was expected. I saw her tired wild eyes and I felt blessed that I’d been allowed in there, unfettered and trusted. I had wanted to do more, wanted to give more, but what was allowed was ok,
Christina, ah Christina, I wish I had got to spend more time. But I’d been expecting a beating, it never came, I hadn’t deserved one anyway and in fact love was in the room when we were together. It is how it has been when we first met and time has allowed that to be again and I am grateful for the opportunity. Jean & Christina are bound up together with me, I simply love them. They are great, their trials enrich me to, I am indebted for the freedoms and trust they afford me.
Marie in Bolinas too, a most unexpected treasure. Just so unexpected, it was, we had said, a family visit, it was we had painted, just, it was we had stated unthinkable to miss. It was we had all said just a must. Jean had planted the seed and pressed the earth down hard around that seed. I’d gone and it had turned out to be true. Marie had been gentle, I had just walked in, natural like. Last time had been 15 years ago. We now found ourselves in a house on top of a peninsular in a community that was pretending not to be there, there was nowhere to run, no escape, but run we didn’t. We stayed and we talked and fresh air blew through that beautiful house. Marie has been the bonus.
Whilst in Santa Fe this last few days I had gone to the Lady of Guadalupe church in to sit and see what I could see. I feel asleep twice so went back a third time and fell asleep again. I had known I was seeing but just went too deeply. I have worked hard, I have kept to my word. I have reached out, though wilderness doesn’t mean a quiet mind, a quiet church doesn’t mean revelation. I have tried hard though, maybe perhaps that all that trying has got to stop. Maybe it gets in the way.
I have written just about every day morning and evening. I have enjoyed it. Up at 6am to edit and crack on. I have been a little tired these last few days. Perhaps the hummingbird back seat disturbed sleep has taken its toll, I have tired. Perhaps it shows between the lines, but I worked hard on that too. It has been a good sort of tired, not an exhaustion caused by a worried mind. The tired has been earned and it felt good. I had kept on. It felt good.
When my mind had quietened in there though, the seeing came and I had seen a great damn, a little like the big Cochiti one. Nothing else; I was standing there looking up at it. Just looking. It was obvious what it meant. I am holding things in. a great deal of feelings. But to be honest I hadn’t realized there and then. I had wanted the angels the gods and the Kundalini Family, instead they showed me myself and that took a extra little time to sink in.
On another day Lori had been late coming back home. Earlier I’d tried at the church again, but sleep had insisted. Back up in the mountain hideaway I’d laid down to rest, my mind quiet un-expecting and so gone into the seeing.
I was looking from behind a man. He was stood in between a white 4×4 or perhaps a truck on his right hand side. On his left there was a tree, one of its branches was broken and hanging down. I hadn’t understood it till right now on this turbulent airplane above the Atlantic, It was me I was looking forward. The broken branch is Mary, I have been accused of things. Something has been broken. I had been writing of friendships. Mary had cried these things are not for consumption by strangers, not in those very words, but when I had boiled and then cooled then boiled and cooled again, what was left, when I scraped off the inside of the pot I found reasons that I will leave behind the damn and let those waters out slowly over time. They will inform and water my valleys for some time to come I am sure.
What ever comes it waters the earth, everything a stepping-stone to greater understanding. I came bearing gifts, clumsily perhaps, but I meant no harm, I arrived with open arms and open heart. Some would say that is no excuse, and that is true, it is not an excuse.
The Danzigers, now there is a class act, with all their colour and the history between themselves and I somehow stumbled into that world, lucky me. The Passover was irreverent, funny and mischievous. It was a group of people coming together to connect under the guise of tradition. It was such a great thing to be witness to, I say witness, as I knew none of the songs, but I read my piece word perfect and hummed now and again when I caught the tune. I played the part of the stranger welcomed in. Perfect, It was such a great afternoon.
It wasn’t all family, there was Syd and Zelda of course but old ladies too whose character was undeniable, and I mean because of the lives they had lived, the pots that they had broken, all of their regrets and all their achievements were there for us to sense, not ask questions about. The 3 older ladies wore their lives in the air around them, It was wonderful to sit at the same table.
There were the doctors the therapists and the psychiatrists too, all gathered around. I’d had to go outside to gather myself at one point, nervous and perhaps out of my depth, I had realized I was in the company of great minds and old rivers that worked their way across the new Mexican Landscapes annually to meet up and flood. To remind one another, not necessarily of their Jewishness, but perhaps, the familiarity, the shared history of their own friendships and their connection. Just like my own family dressed as it does in Christmas time. We all try to remember the traditions, some we get wrong, some we get right, but mostly we see who we all are, where we come from and how we are doing, how the elements have bent or lifted us, another ring on the tree, the yearly count painted on the skin. This year the stitch of an Englishman was woven into a New Mexican Passover, it was a bright and happy thread.
Syd and I had cleaned up her house afterwards, we’d even found time to do some healing work on her aching knee. It made me very happy that I have developed something that can help somebody I hold so dear. Next day I had planned to head off to search for another New Mexican Hispanic Indian church,. But we’d ended up sat in Shell Gas station up the road eating breakfast burritos talking and then later in a coffee bar down in Albuquerque, just talking and sharing. Syd is one of the best Voice coaches in the South West, That is not my wistful thinking, it is a fact. Doing great work in amongst those who are in need. She is a great one. In all honesty I pinched myself at times that she is my friend.
I did tear myself away from her that day in search of that church, I never found it and later realized I’d been sat in one all morning.
It has been a tough journey no doubt. I’d said to Zelda, that I was lucky. She cut me off vaguely annoyed at my sentimentality. She said. It has nothing at all to do with luck mick. You made it happen. It has been your choice. I stress here Zelda is not the sentimental type, she is in her 80’s and hasn’t the inclination to flatter. It wasn’t meant for me. She was stating facts. She went on. Don’t plan to do things when you retire do it now, those plans for when you have the time never happen. I listened deeply. I appreciated it.
Last night, my last night on this journey, Lori and I had driven out to the bar at Chimayo to meet Helen & John Zakritz. Driving one last drive in Hummingbird up and over the hills past the Opera House down into the light of Pojoache. I was on my best driving behavior in the flow, slowing down and swinging a right and then up through Nambe. The space is remarkable, I felt London creeping in, the dread of the DLR stairs at Limehouse London, leading down into the commercial road, down into the press, down into the crush, down into the rush and the grind coming at me, attitude looking for my openness, my weak spot. I dreaded it, I shook it off. My girl would be there to meet me and cushion me.
But for now Lori and I breezed laughing, silhouetted, highlighted in the darkness at the end of that day, we were brightness looking forward and expectant, an evening with John and Helen-Marie.
We weren’t disappointed, The waitress had said as we’d looked at the drinks menu
“Well do you two know where you are” I knew what she meant but couldn’t help quip brightly.
“I know exactly where I am, I am in New Mexico in the US of A in a beautiful bar in good company”
John and Helen arrived just after us. They ordered before they sat down. I heard John deliver their order to the star struck waitress in his creamy irresistible voice.
“Could you make us two of those wonderful margaritas that you always make”
John is a class act, I say that as a figure of speech, an act he is not, and Helen Marie looked simply beautiful. We had a couple delicious hours with them laughing irreverently. John is a priest and Helen Marie a deeply and seriously spiritual being. But laugh they do and all their goodness flows out between their sincerity irreverence and playfulness.
And the lands and the wide-open spaces, what to say about them. Where was best and what to say, I’m listening to Blur The magic Whip on the plane. I haven’t heard any music except what I saw played in bars. It sounds laced with pretentious London cool and they do, I have to say wear it well, I recognize it. But do I like it. I don’t know.
I will not try to say, I miss the so many things, I will try to say I enjoy those things that I have come to know and I have to say I look forward to so much. But I am right now in the air and so that past is obvious set framed and golden and the future is apparent and full of promise and moved closer with every window that is slid open on the airliner beams of light and the new day is really close now. We are flying into it.
I was talking earlier that when I set out across to the US, I was so excited at the unknown and the promise. So what is different on the way back. It is there in that phrase isn’t it, going back. I am not am I. It’s simply to a culture that I know in my bones that I was born into, to some people there that I love dearly too.
Some people, love the getting home, I had never enjoyed that in the past there was always the desire to keep moving. Homeland meant the familiar the hum drum and all that. This time I think will be different. There will not be too much time to dwell. There are things to do, things to keep me moving for now anyway, moving whilst you can Zelda would say.
Whether I have been given or whether I cut out this time, the results of the clearness of my thinking suggests more possibilities to come. Those who I loved I still do, it feels deeper and there is strength there not that there wasn’t before, just more now. The US always seems to have got the best of me in many ways, I have always been so free there, but I cut that time out didn’t I, I was repaid 10 fold with all the things I have seen and all the things I have felt. It has beena lesson in focus I kept my word and I’m doing ok, speeding Up, I’m doing ok I’m gearing up. Moving along and this next step is my choice too. So here goes, here we go again. Full Circle.