American West Road Trip

Like a pilgrimage of self, and like many before have embarked on -- and not entirely an American tradition -- I spent several days headed west to the deserts of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona to seek refuge. I traveled with my dog, Alma, who was unsurprisingly a perfect travel companion, before the demands of life became too great, when I can no longer pick up and leave when the feeling calls. My friends chose to stay and work, so I went anyway.

 Old Tucson saguaros / El Paso parking lot

Old Tucson saguaros / El Paso parking lot

The steady dynamism of the desert and its life reminded that there is no single way of seeing things, even though sometimes it feels like it. There is no dogmatic, this-is-how-my-life-is-supposed-to-be, or this-is-how-it-is, or this-is-how-I-ought-to-be. At least none that have served me well. The feeling that cannot be explained through words is a window into the ultimate unknown, which we all are kin to. I followed the highways along the borders through these three states, particularly in Texas, from which I could see the Chihuahuan desert. The trip back home felt like a loop, a blink. Far from the arrival of familiarity and almost without destination. 2,500 miles.

 Alma in Marfa, TX / White Sands, NM

Alma in Marfa, TX / White Sands, NM

 

I cried to my favorite love songs and can't remember any dreams or thoughts outside the tunnel of my solitary journey. We certainly all have boundaries or borders -- designations of this or that -- some are imposed, maybe of political or physical nature, like the lines on a map between one place and another, and some can be self-inflicted. Mine... imaginary. Having come to accept them, to know them, is to understand that I am their creator. Yes, it is simple, and even an obvious reality for some. But this liberation I have long been hungry for. A shift in perception. I'm grateful.