Tuesday, May 24, 2016

second saturday, all the bluegrass pickers go to this small texas town, meadow, and a couple of guys in my band call it "meta" - so that's what i call it. it's tucked away on the brownfield highway, but if you know it's there, turns out you see it every time. it's a tiny town, so tiny that if you lived there, you could turn your kids loose all the time, as long as you taught them to stay off the highway. the music was good; we play together often, and know how to make good bluegrass, even if our little space is a little on the funky side. getting out of the city is always fun, you can take a deep breath, and feel like you have a little freedom to stagger down the road before you get back on the highway. not that i can't walk a straight line.

but over the weekend, we went out to new mexico; my wife and i had a fifteenth anniversary. we took that same brownfield highway, and i pointed out "meta" - and we kept going, about four and a half more hours, until we were 9000 feet up in the sacramento mountains where we have a hideout. spent three days walking mountain paths. on the second day, we ran into a flute player, a very friendly guy who eventually didn't mind being called "a modern kokopelli." kokopelli as you may know is a native flute player, famous in these parts but not too famous elsewhere. this guy told us a little bit about the mountain paths we were on (the one we met him on was one of the so-called "trestle trails"). back by our cabin, he said, there was a fine meadow, one of the best places that we really should see.

when he said "meadow" it sounded like we generally say it (meddo), though he said he was from the same part of texas we're living in. it's fair to say that the "meta" pronunciation is a midland-dialect kind of pronunciation, common in places like "cincinnatuh", "miamuh" oklahoma, "missourah," you get the picture. but it's not 100% around here. it's common, but it's not the only one out there. i've taken to calling our little town, up here, "meta" - but that's only because i want to. and i'm not sure that it will make an "uh" out of an O as well as an EE. For example, would they say "Coloraduh"? Not sure.

the following day, we found the place; it was paradise. it was an open glade, high in the mountains, with some grass growing. someone had once laid a claim to it, it seemed; what was left of an old fence, a single fence post, still sat there on one spot. the rest of it was totally reclaimed to nature. everywhere was evidence of pines and aspens starting out new lives out in the fresh high mountain air. the deer, the mountain lions, the bear - they may have been out there somewhere, but we didn't see them. <

all this has to do with "meta" in some way or another, but i'm not sure. for now, it's dylan's birthday, and i'm listening to a folk alley radio special of all his best songs, performed by other people. but i'm back in texas, in my chair. my band will perform soon - but mostly we play for coffee. that means i'll be up late, probably, doing haiku.


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