I Pearl Jammed out of slushy, grimy New Yawk, took Stevie Ray thru rusted Pennsylvania steel and over them old, tamed federal rivers. I brought Dave Mathews aboard for the run down the sacred Shenendoah, and the Brothers time travel skipped me across Tennessee. Time to get gone – run, boy, run – a sweet heart waits lonely.
I hurtled across the plains down the miraculous disaster of Interstate 40. A steady stream of truck stops, box hotels and chain restaurants supported the howling madness. They skimmed theirs off the top and sent us back into the fury. Power lines stand over austere grass lands, chicken bones and trash lie on gas station concrete, a shattered farm house stands against the wind. The same wind languidly spins hundreds of windmills – 2 billion dollars saved Oklahoma! To the west, a brilliant skirt of yellow-gold sunbeams bursts thru pregnant clouds illuminating expansive, open, yellow-brown prairie.
The country stretches, rolls, spreads on either side, ahead and behind. The sky arcs up and over from horizon to horizon – uninterrupted robins egg blue. The dizzying freedom of blue half-dome West Texas inspires. I bump up the cruise control to just over eighty, fly west, hum the Dead, dream.
I dreamed the Pueblo. The Pueblo is an astonishing 1000 year old Native American village built on top of a mesa somewhere in New Mexico. It is not a museum or a tourist attraction, it is an abode – it is home, religion, and universe all wrapped up together. The residents are gently protective – for them the Pueblo is traditional and sacred as a cathedral – you can visit, but only on a supervised tour – and no photos. They live in harmony with the amazing nature around them. They grow their own food, water their flocks, create art, dispose of waste, worship the divine. They revere their surroundings and understand that it is their source…they are made from its stone, mud and clay. For them, the desert is alive – suffused with spirit. They are not apart and above it, they are part of and immersed in it. The desert is feared and respected, never harnessed. They protect their culture from my interstate hiway frenzy. They know my vicious politics will destroy theirs – and do not allow unsupervised contact. I understand, do not have time to spend, am disappointed and head back to the shrieking, howling interstate.
Lost and out of time.