By Gael Montana
Contrarian and Tonsorial Artist
the shadows lengthen time itself begins to pick up speed, rushing
by and sneaking away before we notice.
Being in that old Chihuahuan Desert this fall evoked a sense of timelessness
with its Spartan beauty and open space. That part of the world is
an eternal mirror too large for our tiny minds to reflect upon, and
in its vast beauty we are set free from our silly concerns and self-indulgences.
Any and all man-made structures are mere lean-tos; the larger and
more ostentatious they are the more insecure they appear. There are
still places in the Big
Bend where the soothing darkness is complete and restful hours
can be spent feeling the heartbeat of the land, listening to the creatures
that share its precious resources and one can be contentedly obscure.
It's almost a lost concept yet I am grateful that it exists in its
unconditional and unflinching beauty for us when we are ready to leave
the theme park world of this new millennium & be real.
It seems that in the lifelong fascination of chasing our reflections
in mirrors, window glass, water, anything that will offer up our likeness
we have completely lost our perspective. When I was young I would
travel to my Grandparents in Boerne
for the Holidays from wherever we were living at the time. I remember
the sensation of observing my face fly across the countryside in the
reflection of the inside glass on that Greyhound, anticipating my
Grandparents smiles, so happy to see me. Now we talk about 'Black
Friday' when people land haymakers on one another in frantic search
of the signature toy, game or whatever overpriced trinket the marketers
have sold our children on. Before I-10 came along that was the day
we walked for miles on Johns Road where there was simply no traffic
to speak of, and enjoyed the migrating birds, the countryside going
to sleep for winter. There came a fluttering in my insides when I
got to the Hill Country
that never went completely away. Now, it seems, judgment is harsh
and quick, and it's hard to be a child in the discovery of life and
nature's inner workings. No one wants their children to 'whittle until
they know how', as Hondo Crouch used to say. For those days of sweet
revelation when everyone was trusted and we shared our hearts and
minds without prejudice, I am thankful.
After all, we don't so much disappear into the past as search out
people, places and situations in general that accommodate our changing
bodies and minds. The energy of life takes a more graceful embrace
of us as we appreciate the value of the calm before that gathering
storm. At least that's the way I see it, now that I have more purchase
to look back yonder at that big wheel we all stand beneath. So many
of my dear friends have passed and it's evident that sadness doesn't
serve them or me. Having shared the time with them is the important
thing. And it's not who you know but how they are served by knowing
you that seems to matter, after all.
I am ever thankful for all your generous hearts and minds. Y'all take
care of one another and treasure these good old days!
Copyright Gael Montana
'The View from Under the Bus' December
2 , 2007 Column