Saturday, July 29, 2017

i sit on the porch watching a storm come in, with thunder, huge clouds swirling; it's early afternoon. this july has seemed to me unusually cool and rainy; under seventy, raining every afternoon, more or less like this, what they call the monsoon. a good drenching. a person has to roll up the car windows.

i am lucky, actually, that i'm still unemployed, waiting for my perfect high school teaching job, yet not knowing what it is, so being entirely free of worry. rather than worry about exactly what and how i will teach, i worry about whether i will teach, or whether i will be confined to the role of sub, being there every day, yet teaching almost nothing except how to hold my tongue when students are being as bad or as worthless as they can manage. even as a sub, it's likely i'll snag a permanent sub job, and so be able to go somewhere every day without worrying about where i will work on any given day. i will be employed. that's my mantra. cloudcroft schools start on thursday; alamo schools soon after. it's the season, and something is likely to pop up soon.

but i have a twenty-five year old who has landed in the basement, and he got his brother's computer working again, and put his sound-mix (kind of like garage band) on it, so, as the thunder rolls in, we've been doing a kind of collaboration. i gave him the banjo part to "how can i keep from singing," an old quaker hymn. he will convert it into "how can i keep from rapping," a hip-hop version using the banjo part and whatever else he can mix in. it's kind of a quaker tribute to our friend who put him up for a few days on his way here; it's her favorite song. so it's a kind of quaker hymnal, bluegrass hip-hop rap. pretty good for a collaboration, eh?

a neighbor bought the house next door, and just in time, because its support posts were rotting and the deck, you couldn't stand on it. like our house, it has this fantastic view, out over the white sands, or in today's case, out over a valley that has clouds shooting up it. but none of this view is good if you are worried about the rotten wood beneath your feet. and he has been finding a lot of rotten wood under there, and shoring it up.

just beyond his house, which is next door to ours, downtown starts up. and downtown is relatively full, a weekend in late july being what this town is all about. people come up here from el paso, midland, and lubbock, with the pure intention of getting out of the blistering heat and dryness that characterizes the valley. so we can see them from here, filling up the porches, which protect them from the rain, and enjoying the 8700-feet altitude; they get a rest from the valley. we up here avoid the valley, though we have to go down there for groceries, or in some cases, to work. to me it's a luxury to walk out my front door and be 8700 feet - to be close to the stars, to walk a couple hundred feet higher, to see enough stars that i actually see the galaxy some nights. and keep in mind, i'm in town. walk a mile or so out, and there are even more.

how can i keep from singing is an old quaker song about being so high on religion that you don't mind jail. they throw you in the clinker, they throw away the key, they lock you up, whatever, and you are on god's path, so you're still ok with it. you are doing the right thing, so they can't get to you. it's inspirational. today's mainline christians can't relate, because they never go to jail. the only people who go to jail are people who protest the pipelines, or stuff like that. and then, of course, the criminals go to jail. but they aren't feeling the righteous glory, i suppose.

song is coming soon. i'll keep you posted!


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