The thing about the highway, is your always crossing paths with people at random; few stand out. About a week ago I went out with my brothers to a bar in Bandera to visit together. I had felt, earlier on the drive over from Hondo, a little down about going because there was a minor situation regarding my mother and a hospital the day before. She's ok, but I felt off about going that Friday night. I didn't drink anything for the first couple hours, feeling a recent need to break from the pressures of the norm and experience that sort of scene without the use of alcohol. It was rather enjoyable, as I was able to restrain my depth of thought and maintain conversations with everyone and actually have something viablely positive to respond with. I enjoyed it so much in fact, that I fell off the wagon and approached the bar to purchase a beer. While waiting patiently, contemplating my reason for being there, I shared brief eye contact and a smile with a young woman wearing a blue top and skirt. Her eyes were dark and I remember her smile. I thought as I collected my beer from the barkeep, Maybe I should stay sober in bars more often, it's not usual for pretty girls to smile at me there. No alcohol, equals no loss of composure.
Sitting at the long table, drinking there with my brothers and three Canadian couples to my left, I watched as various people danced throughout, this way and that, my thoughts lost into their interactions and movements, calculated, but caotic. The sound of the band and the conversations of the entire room filling into my head for a moment, absorbing space to the point of subconcious awareness, where the mind doubles itself. I had many hundreds of days like that behind the wheel of a machine. Then, out of the blue dropped this face again into my view, smiling, eye contact, she set a beer down in front of me, with a red cheek turn she walked away. "Ohhhhh", to the surprise of my six family kin sitting there with smiles and evil grins, cheering me on as if I had done something great, as if by some means I had tilted the axis of the earth. I didn't have anything to do with it, it was her, I thought. Although, to my best recollection, I don't remember a good looking stranger ever buying me a beer, nope, not ever. I was flattered.
The night continued until around 11:00 at which time my company decided it was time to move on, back to the house. This was the moment of truth, I could just leave with no response but that would've been weak and ungentlemanlike, so I moved forward to meet and speak to the young and bright, Shelley Adelle.
With my younger brother as a trusted and dependable wingman, we chatted and mingled amongnst another group of strangers for a half hour or more. Moving out to the patio I learned that Shelley had lived in New York for ten years and studied acting and dance. Also, she had become a personal instructor for yoga, but after a decade in the city she fled to the beaches of Florida to decompress. Finding no rest there, as beaches appearantly are a favorite location for yoga enthusiasts, she informed me that she was taking a month long vacation of semi-unplanned adventure to reconnect her spirit, beginning with her orgins in Texas.
As it were, that evening, she had stumbled into a Texas nomad whose aim in life was a legacy left in art. Hearing of her quest for adventure, I informed her that I was on my way back out to Redford and The Big Bend. I explained to her that my artistic quest had led me first to my orgins on the Texas prairie and then to the Chihuahuan desert region of Presidio County, establishing a series of work spaces in both places. The talked moved on and was a delight, and before the sun set on the evening of the next day we were both in the truck and headed West on Highway 90.
I learned a lot from the few days I traveled with this free spirit. Moreover, I was energized by her ability to step in from an outside perspective and give me insight on how to cope with things out of my control. Not only in dealing with letting go of hardships, but her offering of insightful approaches toward positive sustainability. All in all, she offered nothing but help. It was greatly appreciated. It's easy to get worked up over little details, but simple to let go of; generally, it's just three deep breaths away. Many in this life will hender your dreams with luggage and conversation about how "you can't", and how "it's too much work". None of that talk applied to the people of where I come from. But, they are of great abundance out in the world, especially in art. It was good to experience the spontaneous flow of time with one who is an overcomer of adverse things. I had much fun on Terlingua Porch, thanks Shelly. You are indeed great at what you do, keep it up.
Links to my artwork
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