I traveled down to Tucson. Stopped in Quartzite slept in the back of the Volvo. Renting a room from midnight to early morning isn’t any fun. Sleeping in the back of a station wagon suits me fine.
As success and money have found their way into my life so has travel by air, hotels and rental cars. Air travel passes over the ordinary people and places I find matter. I don’t want to just come and go on a trip. I want to be with what I find in between.
An isolated high desert town with fifty miles of uninhabited highway between what comes next riles up the pangs unavailable to a citizen living in a megalopolis.
Driving down a main street with every parking place empty is an opportunity. Crawling along heading the other way on this street is an old man and a big dog in a pickup truck.
I get out and walk a few blocks. The pace of life is apparent. Living within a mile of a twelve lane freeway choked all day with traffic wears a nervous system thin.
Setting aside time to feel lonesome will revive the sagging spirits. There is a medicinal quality to an aimless walkabout in the middle of a town that’s been grinding along at a slow crawl. You can hear your own footsteps. A thought in your mind gets the attention it deserves.
By the time you have circled back to where you started you’ve got a fresh list of changes you want to make. There are recipes you’ll want to try, friends you put on your list to call and a promise to take better care of your spouse.
Keeping a ready mind open for an ordinary day is no mean feat. If you can hear the chirp of a sparrow clear as a bell you’re on the path. You might use the position of the sun to locate your own sense of place. Clouds sweeping past above will be noticeable in such circumstances.
A walk through Patagonia won’t be anything fancy. Won’t be any high priced homes, won’t see any new cars, but there will be a chance to hear from a crowded out piece of who you are.
In transit from Patagonia, Arizona today. Destination San Francisco Bay Area, think Emeryville via downtown Los Angeles. As ever buy a book, book a show and if you are so inclined surf around this site and find out more. More is good.
Oak Bar Ranch, Patagonia, Arizona
In terms of restoration of the mental and spiritual faculties I spent the last few days hiking trails where I might take measure of where I find the state of my inner ship.
This is the game of eat a little-hike alot. Stomach, feet, hips, eyes and open the mind. Most of the ruts I found were more to do with the interior landscape than those I found at my boot.
Taking in the lonely outpost of Santa Cruz County’s one and truly only … Patagonia is tonic and elixir. You put the time in and you get the less tangled up mind out.
I continue to put more time into the Desert Harvester’s organization based in Tucson and dedicated to eating all things Sonoran Desert. This entire idea of making available the micronutrients of an ecosystem by ingestion makes all kinds of common Sense. That’s a rut I want to climb out of. I’d like a broader understanding of what we can find right here unpackaged, unprocessed and fresh and edible. I know little and would like to understand more. Cornflakes are nice enough but what about all these other wonders of the natural world?
A Cup of Black Mud
April Fool’s Day and you ended up here? You can buy a book, book a show, click around and find information about my work as a performer and writer. But, wait there’s more…
In Tucson this weekend hiking on Mount Lemon. Big Bug Trail didn’t disappoint. After horizontal respite plunged into quest for eating or drinking something regional, something from the Dessert Harvesters, something indigenous. How about a prickly pear-jalapeno margarita!!!! Sure. With salt or no salt? I asked that my rim come salted so that I might extract the maximum of things I normally would not do. I avoid salt like the plague and tequila like the pretty little thing that fakes twisting her ankle so that the gentleman may come to her aid.
Rock-Trail-Tree-Bush is Medicinal
Today I’ll head further south of Tucson to the Mexican borderlands near Patagonia, Arizona and hike along Soniota Creek with my binoculars to peek and be peeked back at by the avian special effects show. Sonoita Creeks too-tall cottonwoods make the entire project sketchy at best, but every so often I get lucky when a bird makes a mistake and we scare the devil out of one another before each bolting off in opposite directions. Needless frustrations are quelled by taking the hiking more serious than the actual seeing and identifying of the life we share this fragile world with.
I’ll remain nearby Patagonia at the Oak Bar Ranch. One of my kind, the busking-circus veteran kind is running the ranch. He’s boss to one wife who won’t be bossed, and a fair enough number of barnyard animals that don’t take no guff. This is as nature intended for a self made hard working show business type. You put your back into some tens of thousands of performances only to be ignored, disobeyed, and to your bitter disappointment utterly beloved for the human being you have turned out to be. Our standing up in front of all of you and scratching out a better than fair wage for doing so for what turns out to be most if not all our life scars our hearts up until the bile is near all gone and nothing remains but our having good things to say about the nature and generosity of the human spirit. That holds until it doesn’t and then we relapse like the rest of you into worrying about the entire project and humanity’s ultimate fate.
Birdwatching is today’s medicine.