I Did It My Way
At thirty-three, I sometimes still comprehend myself as a child-mostly when around my family. The main reason is that my Parents and Brother are Smart (note the capital ‘S’). These three can talk so extensively on all levels that it’s not only intimidating to occasional outsiders, it’s intimidating to ME (and I’m supposed to be immediate family)! It took me a while, but here’s vegetable of it; I’m Smart about the stuff I want to know about. Just because I sometimes miss the realm of my family’s discussions doesn’t mean a thing regarding their appreciation for my contributions. In addition to that, I like to think of myself as ‘the Cute One’ who can substitute ‘adorable’ for the proper political & religious credentials (which we shouldn’t be discussing at parties anyway, right?).
My parents probably started understanding my take-off-like-a-tsunami personality when I decided it would be an awesome idea to drive from Michigan to New Mexico by myself. At the time, I didn’t think much about their concerns, but now how flighty does ‘I’m sick of living in the snow, so why don’t I DRIVE to Santa Fe and back, ALONE, and see what happens? You know, just to check out the area I pulled from a hat where I wanted to live…since I’ve never been there. Yes, I know I can’t change a tire and don’t own a cellular phone, but I’ll be FIIINE!’ At this point, the parents, Kay & Ray, had probably seen it all with me and that’s why they were so complying with yet another ‘adventure’ of mine.
So, I packed up my muse, Amy Winehouse, and drove to Santa Fe. I made some chums, a lot of weird decisions, and took some of my favourite photographs. I don’t talk too much about that trip, maybe because it was my own adventure and no one else could honestly understand. But, here’s part of the dish, via lez photographs:
Bypassing my experiences in Chicago, Northern, & Middle Texas (not to poo-poo all the broken Chicagonian hearts & how wonderus Austin was), one of my personal feats was to see Port Arthur, Texas, Janis Joplin’s hometown. Winding/losing my path around her home, college, first haunts singing haunts, I was saddled with why she left. Really, the only visually appeasing photograph I could drudge up was looking to the Texaco plant where Janis’ Father was employed. The experience was beautifully disheartening and one of the most sincere parallels featuring an Artist’s battle between her environment and herself.
The day before I made it to Santa Fe, I stopped/drank/updated myself in Amarillo, Texas. Campers are a neat breed who seem to take care of each other as did Scott, my friendly KOA tractor driver/fellow lactose intolerant/and SAR trainee, who warned me about the high Texas winds and offered me a couch to sleep on should I become a’skeet by my lonesome. The best advice Scott ponied up was visiting the Cadillac Ranch .
I made it to Santa Fe, got a lucky odd-number-divisible-by-three campsite, freaked out and froze myself for a day because I had actually made it to New Mexico, eventually hit up the downtown, and trotted across the Pecos National Historical Park. The Park (obviously) covers the land of a tribe before they moved on from their dwellings in Pecos. I climbed down and up the ceremonial Kivas to see how, downstairs, the ‘sick’ were healed by the calmness of the environment. I also made nice with the Visitor Centre Guy and was tipped off that the locals view the Native tribe’s leaving as a venture out and around New Mexico. By doing so, the tribe was and is able to expand their culture…which is more pleasant than believing they had to hightail it off their own land.
Returning to Santa Fe, I (wait for it…) got lost. Fortunately, it was one of those ‘good kinda losts’ where one ambles across an abandon church that is kept up and oddly still used by the locals. Having been alone for a week and a half and could talk to anyone for hours, I weaseled the skinny on those candles in bags outside churches. Here’s the down low, the candles are placed in the bags, lit, and left (usually around Christmas time) to ensure the three wise men will find their way to…some religious thing.
I left my New (potential) Mexican home and bunked somewhere in Oklahoma for the evening. When I woke up to consult with Mr. Mappy-Mapperson, I discovered I could have breakfast or buy gas to get to Holcomb, Kansas. In keeping with my bright but delusional spirit, the choice to drive the same route as Dick Hickock & Perry Smith made more sense than eating. After all, who wouldn’t want to see the sites featured in In Cold Blood?! I sure did and, wow, it was a weird town. (Duh.)
And, having done all that, (like exploring Dorothy’s pad in Lincoln, Kansas), I realized it’s pretty easy to understand ‘there’s no place like home’. My ‘home’ may always be physically traveling, but having a home nurses the idea that I’m accepted with my own terms, adventures, and findings. Maybe I’ll be the only one who truly gets me, but that’s probably as it should be. I’ll be smart about the things I want to learn and I AM cute enough to make friends and slanted decisions regarding my whereabouts. Fortunately, I have a family and a slew of pals who get that, as, truthfully, I don’t see it changing anytime soon.