Tuesday, January 26, 2016

back to my old routine, and exhausted, though my schedule is lighter in the spring than in the fall. exhausted in an emotionally-drained kind of way, since what i did was basically sit a couple of weeks by my mom's side, with my mom barely knowing who i was. now it's good to get back to work, but at the same time i have virtually no energy or patience for the usual academic kinds of things.

a kid died on the icy roads of iowa, and as it turned out, he was a texan, he'd worked at the student center here and was taking a semester off to work on the carson campaign. i don't believe he was driving at the time, but i can tell you, iowa roads can be pretty icy this time of year, it doesn't take much. i had an unusual amount of sympathy for the kid, especially when i found out he was one of ours. i spent a fall canvassing in maine, and, while they had no ice or snow, i could see it coming, and got a good sense of what the place was like. iowa is its own world this time of year, this month, this week, which rolls around once every four years. so the question is, is this guy a kind of special character, to go up there, drive around on a futile campaign, and lose his life among so many others who are filling the place at this moment? the campaigns will leave the place empty in about a week. he however will hold still in time.

my path takes me past pecans, and i've taken to stooping over and grabbing them again. a few, a pound at a time, and i'll take them in sometime in february and get lots of pecans in the deal. welcome back to texas!

but alas the best welcome was my band; i'd missed three or four tuesdays, but they were all there, same as usual, wondering about me, and i was very glad to see them. the finest people in the world, i thought, as we ran through the usual songs. some kids in the audience got a kick out of it, i could tell. it was like, they happened into the coffee shop, sat down, and this wild bluegrass was going on. it was an event, it was a happening. our usual audience, two old couples and the wife of the guitar player, were there as well. the workers stop in occasionally and love it. i was feeling a little rusty and said so; it was over a month since i'd played. they shrugged it off, though i'm sure they noticed. they're musicians. they live for the variations, the runs, the extra stuff in there. they tolerated the squeaks, the times i got off the melody.

my exhaustion is overtaking me. i'll get back on the creative treadmill sooner or later. tonight, i'm going to bed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

life in this state of near suspension is not all that complicated. i am in a retirement community, doing my laundry, but have forgotten to wash the shirt i wear almost every day at my mother's bedside. i am washing some others though and the most important thing, some socks. we eat well. we hang out with my mom in the last days of her life. we talk to her and speculate how much she understands.

but i've been away from home for three weeks, and it's getting a little long. i'm getting people to do my job. i'm hoping my family holds together back there without me. i'm in suspension. i feel like the world is pushing forward without me.

i still keep up on the news. i try to read some too though that has been in spurts. i have stopped creating anything at all, and that's really bad. i write this but have nothing to say, i'm just here, suspended. waiting for my laundry. in a quiet room.

the weather actually got warmer, but it occurred to me: in this place, it's hardly ever freezing. almost never snows. the sun is a regular, even in mid-january. rain is an absolute rarity. and people are used to it, they like it. i went to buy a snowshovel once and they laughed at me. one guy said, where you goin, michigan?

we can see mountains on every horizon. the town is up against some huge, beautiful ones, and they have snow on them. others are off in the distance. the ones that el paso are up against, they are just down the way. all of them are dry, though i suppose they are cold enough, that if it snows once, in say late december, that snow might just hang around up there for a while. for a month or more. there's a big difference between say, 4000 feet and 8000 feet. the snow will still be there at 8000.

i could turn around and go back. my sister and dad are getting used to the situation; they need support, but it's wearing on them too. we are all suspended. life has come to this point, where we are sitting in this room. and there's not much point bringing up pleasant memories from the past, although we have them. it's just talk, and it, too, is suspended.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

been on the road now for quite a while - went to kansas with the family for new year, then, upon returning, found out that my mom was in hospice and have been here in las cruces ever since, except that over the king day weekend my family came down for a weekend in cloudcroft. cloudcroft is four and a half from lubbock, and one and a half from las cruces, but it's nine thousand feet up, and that's the most important fact; we call it 'on the mountain' and we refer to going to grandma and grandpa's as going 'over the mountain.'

my mom is in sad condition, failing heart, confused, but i leave that stuff off here for the most part, and won't dwell on it. most of the time i stay by her side. i don't write, i don't do poetry, i don't even bring the computer. and i won't today, though i have it here back where i sleep.

the whole family, my two brothers and a sister, are here with my dad; my sister already lives here and has been closely monitoring the whole thing. one brother came from england, another from pittsburgh; both are leaving tomorrow. i came by car, over the mountain.

the road from cloudcroft down to las cruces is one of the wildest commutes i've ever done. down off the high mountain, with its snow and evergreens, and elk, you pass ancient caves, at a tunnel, and, going through a kind of pass through dramatic, barren mountains, you come out into the tularosa valley, 4000 feet and dry as a bone. the town of alamogordo is tucked up against the mountain, dry as a bone, very sunny, but when you head out from alamogordo you are directly in the white sands, and the white sands rise up from the desert, mostly on your right as you kind of skirt around them and shoot an hour straight across the desert to the next wall of mountains, the organs. at the organs you rise straight up and over, and you're in the mesilla valley, which has las cruces and the rio grande, coming up from texas and going straight up into albuquerque. the rio grande is heavily farmed; there are pecan groves all through mesilla and las cruces and they have literally sucked most of the water off the surface of the river, though apparently there is still some below. las cruces has about 100,000 people, while alamogordo has only 30,000; cloudcroft, however, has only about 5,000 or less. lubbock, remember, has about 350,000 but a shopping area of about a million. i am watching all these people. i am driving a lot, and watching license plates as well. i am trying to watch all this wild scenery without running off the road.

more later. i have to try my best to hang on to the ability to write, such as it is.